Taxing Remittances Can Build the Wall

Among the alleged asylum-seekers parked on the U.S. border is a contingent of Hondurans, allegedly fleeing persecution, poverty, crime, and oppression.  If that is the case, then why is the Honduran government helping them, driving them northward under orders given to the Honduran ambassador, who is helping and escorting them?

Leaders of a caravan of Central American migrants traveling toward the United States through Mexico have repeatedly accused the Honduran government of corruption and with failing to address the poverty, crime and economic conditions forcing families to flee by the thousands.

So it shocked some observers when the Honduran ambassador joined the migrants protesting outside the Honduran embassy in Mexico City on Wednesday, and then accepted their invitation to walk 9 miles to a migrant shelter.

"I have been ordered by my government to support the Honduran migrants traveling with the caravan.  There are about 200 Hondurans who we will help out with paperwork and whatever is necessary," Alden Rivera Montes, the Honduran ambassador to Mexico, told El Universal.

Why is the country whose oppression they are allegedly fleeing helping them leave?  The answer is remittances, the money sent back home by so-called "migrants."  Asylum is in large part a colossal scam designed to provide Latin American countries with both a safety valve and a cash cow of foreign exchange.  In 2017, remittances sent back to Honduras totaled $4.33 billion and make up a significant part of the Honduran economy:

Within the span of a few short decades, migrants have become an essential engine of economic support for Honduras.  Remittances comprised 17 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, according to World Bank estimates, the second largest share of any country in Latin America or the Caribbean.  As such, Honduran emigrants have tremendous significance for the country's economy and for the sustenance of many otherwise impoverished communities and families.

Talk about a trade imbalance.  We import alleged asylum-seekers and other illegal aliens, and they send home billions sucked out of a benevolent U.S. government and economy.

Trump's wall would do a lot to stop this, but the question is how to pay for it.  One U.S. congressman has suggested a way to get Mexico to pay for it, and Honduras, and Guatemala, and the rest of them:

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) sponsored a bill in March that would slap a 2 percent tax on all money transfers from the United States to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

If Rogers expanded the idea to include all transfers to countries outside of the United States, it would generate $2.76 billion, based on the 2016 remittance totals.

"Over 10 years, there it is," Chmielenski said.  "There's your wall."

Indeed, but a 2-percent tax is a pittance.  Why not a 25-percent tax like the proposed tariffs on foreign steel?  The amount of money funneled out of the United States is staggering:

Immigrants in the United States in 2016 sent home more than $138 billion – a sum that exceeds the entire gross domestic product of Kuwait – according to a new report from the Pew Research Center[.] ...

"It's a staggering number," said immigration reform activist Chris Chmielenski, marveling at the $138.2 billion that immigrants wire out of the United States.

President Trump has floated the idea of a tax on remittances as a way of getting Mexico and others to pay for the wall and otherwise cooperate in controlling the flow of illegal immigrants:

President Trump is mulling a tax on cash transfers between immigrants in the U.S. and their relatives in Mexico as a way to fund his promised border wall without forcing American taxpayers to open their wallets, according to sources familiar with the proposal.

Trump first floated the idea of taxing or halting person-to-person wire transfers, known as remittances, during his bid for the White House.  A two-page memo released by his campaign last April described a plan "to compel Mexico to pay for the wall" by preventing immigrants from wiring money outside of the U.S. unless they can prove their legal status to law enforcement authorities.

Because the Mexican economy has become so dependent on wages sent home by migrant workers, which surpassed oil revenues as its leading source of foreign income in 2015, Trump said he could convince the country's leaders to make a "one-time payment of $5-10 billion" toward his border wall by threatening to stop the annual flow of billions of dollars from the U.S. to Mexico in the form of cash transfers.

President Trump has shown that border security is not that hard.  It merely requires willpower and resolve that put the impact of illegal immigration on America and its citizens above the impact on the political fortunes of pandering politicians.

Now comes a study from the Center for Immigration Studies showing that this ongoing reduction in illegal immigration will reduce related costs to the point the wall is paid for:

President Donald Trump's border wall only needs to stop about 10 percent of illegal crossing in order to pay for itself, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies.  The estimated $12 to $15 billion cost of the wall would quickly be offset by the savings to the government if fewer illegal immigrants arrive in the country over the next decade, CIS found.  Only a small portion of the population of people who are expected to attempt an illegal crossing in the next decade – between 9 and 12 percent – would have to be stopped for the wall to totally pay for itself.

The analysis from CIS, a group that advocates for moderating immigration levels, relies on fiscal estimates from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) for the average cost to taxpayers of illegal immigrants [sic].  NAS estimates one illegal immigrant [sic] costs state and local governments approximately $75,000 in a lifetime, taking into account taxes paid and the cost of providing benefits such as education and health care.

Critics say the costs of illegal immigration fall largely on state and local governments, and it is a federal government burdened with debt that has to write the checks.  But the costs in either case are borne by the American taxpayer and the American worker.  Ask Kate Steinle's father what the true costs of illegal immigration are and who pays for them

Remittances are the huge carrot attracting illegal aliens and alleged asylum-seekers.  Open borders advocates like to talk about how much illegal aliens contribute to the U.S. economy.  It would seem they are benefiting the nations from whence they came more than the United States.

The proposed tax cut bill 2.0 making individual tax cuts permanent should include a tax on remittances to not only pay for the wall, but set up a compensation fund for the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. MS-13 members have been found among the latest round of asylum-seekers.

As with most everything else, if you want to learn the truth about illegal immigration and alleged asylum-seekers, just follow the money.

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