Donald Trump has claimed he will make Mexico pay for a border wall, but he's never actually given details on how he would get America's southern neighbor to foot the bill. In a two-page memo reported by The Washington Post on Tuesday, Trump finally outlined his plan to pressure Mexico into making the payment — by cutting off the flow of money from immigrants sent back home.
The plan, which is questionable both legally and politically according to the Post, would effectively decimate the Mexican economy by stemming billions of dollars in money transfers, or remittances, sent over the border. Trump would only allow money transfers to continue if Mexico made "a onetime payment of $5-10 billion," according to his memo.
Trump also suggested increased trade tariffs, the cancellation of visas, and higher fees for border-crossing cards as tactics for getting the money needed to build the wall. However, it is unclear if Trump's plan could actually be implemented:
The odds of success for Trump’s proposal to pay for such a wall also are fraught with challenges. Although there is a shortcut in the Administrative Procedure Act that allows for "interim" regulations that take effect immediately without going through the regular public notice and comment process, there are limitations on that authority.
Based on the process for changes laid out in the Federal Register, Trump as president could potentially invoke a change by making the argument that illegal immigration is an emergency that must be addressed immediately or is a threat to public health or safety. [The Washington Post]
But because the rule would apply to money transfers and visas, not limiting immigration, it could be hard for Trump to argue he meets the exceptions.