Aside from "Make America Great Again," perhaps no campaign promise has worked more to Donald Trump's advantage than his promise to "build a wall and make Mexico pay for it." The New York billionaire's commitment to enforcing the laws on the books and putting the employment priorities of blue collar Americans first is a major part of why his once improbable campaign is one of the last left standing.
But the Donald is not without his critics. Many have criticized him for failing to offer a concrete plan to make Mexico pay for the wall, alleging that this would be an absurd feat. To date, Trump's only answer has been a rather unsatisfactory appeal to his negotiating prowess.
But this week, something changed. Perhaps sensing that the pro Hillary media is about to turn up the spotlight, Trump decided to release specifics:
Donald Trump's campaign released a memo on Tuesday that said it would force Mexico to pay for a border wall by threatening to cut off billions of dollars in money transfers that Mexicans who are living in the U.S. send home.
"Mexico currently receive $24 billion in remittance payments annually from the United States. This provides substantial leverage for the United States to obtain from Mexico the funds necessary to pay for a border wall," his campaign said in a statement.
If elected president, the memo explains, Trump would threaten to change a rule under the Patriot Act to cut off some of the money Mexico receives through wire transfers. The memo said the majority of the $24 billion a year "comes from illegal aliens" that they send back to their families.
Whether or not this system is constitutional or economically practical remains to be seen. But it shows that the Trump campaign is trying to come up with constructive ways to limit the flow of non-citizens to this country. In the short term, it seems that this would encourage illegal immigration, as those no longer receiving remittances would have little reason not to risk joining their family members in the United States.