There are “many ways” a President Trump could get Mexico to pay for a wall and deport four million immigrants, says a former Mexican foreign secretary.
Jorge Castañeda served as Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2003, and is currently a professor at New York University. He spoke at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Wednesday, reported Ethan Epstein of The Weekly Standard.
According to Castañeda, the wall is a “perfectly feasible promise to fulfill,” and said the recent action by the Mexican Senate to ban the use of Mexican federal funds for construction of a wall is “silly.”
He said if Trump really wants Mexico to pay for the wall, he has many ways of doing so. He could “increase the fee for visas, which is a decision made by the State Department, not be Congress.” Trump could “increase the toll on the bridges (on the U.S.-Mexico border)… again, not necessary to have Congress’ approval.
Castañeda added that Trump could also tax remittances from the U.S. to Mexico, with “transaction fees, commissions, special fees, etc.”
Castañeda also shot down the idea that Mexicans have stopped coming to the U.S.
“There’s a fallacy involving the [Mexican immigration] situation . . . that well-intentioned American experts have sold people on,” he said. “This is this famous ‘net zero immigration from Mexico’ thing: [The notion that] all of the sudden a few years ago all of the Mexicans in the United States started going home, and Mexicans in Mexico stopped coming here, so now we have net-zero.
“Well, you have net-zero if you consider President Obama’s 1.5 million Mexican deportees as voluntary returnees,” he continued, “Yes, then you have net-zero . . .If you had not deported those million and a half . . . then you would have roughly a million and half more Mexicans here.”
“I’ve been writing around and asking and stuff, maybe I’ll take out an ad in the Spanish papers and Univision. If somebody can find me a single Mexican in the U.S. who has a job, doesn’t want to retire, and who wants to go back to Mexico, I’ll build a monument or statue in his honor.”
Why? Basic economics.
“You’d have to be absolutely nuts, if you’re already here and making 10, 12, 15 bucks an hour to go back to Mexico to make . . . if you’re well-paid, maybe $300 a month. Seventy percent of all Mexicans make less than $300 a month . . . This nonsense I hear from so many people, even serious people, saying ‘Mexicans are returning to Mexico because the U.S. economy is doing terribly and the Mexican economy is booming so they all want to go back.’ Where do they live? The U.S. economy will grow 50 percent more than the Mexican economy! The Mexican economy has been stagnant for the last fifteen years.”
Although Castañeda is not a Trump fan and claimed electing him “will be a huge disaster for Mexico,” he also doesn’t appear to be fond of Hillary Clinton either.
Weekly Standard quoted him as saying:
“The problem with Hillary Clinton on Latin America is I have the feeling—and it’s pure feeling, I’ve only been with her a couple of times, I don’t know her well . . . but I know a lot of people who do know her—she doesn’t really like the place,” he at the Hudson Institute in downtown D.C., “And I know she doesn’t really like Mexico.”
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