Calderon: Mexico won't pay 'a single cent' for Trump's 'stupid wall'

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderón harshly criticized the notion that Mexico would pay anything for Donald Trump's planned wall on our southern border.

The HIll:

“Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall!” Calderón told CNBC on Saturday. “And it’s going to be completely useless.” 

Calderón, who served as president from 2006 to 2012, said Trump is “not [a] very well-informed man.” 

“The first loser of such a policy would be the United States,” he added. “If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade [or] for people is going to provide prosperity to the United State, he is completely crazy.” 

This is not the first time Mexico has said it would not help pay for the Republican presidential contender's proposed wall.

Trump has said that he will seize cash remittances that illegal aliens send back to Mexico to pay for the wall.  That won't work, either:

Would that even be possible? A Trump administration could erect a lot of legal, regulatory, and logistical obstacles to transferring money from the U.S. to Mexico. But those moves would enrage the banks and financial institutions that make money off the transfers, and probably spur interest in transfer methods that escape the attention and grasp of law enforcement.

Earlier this year, Mexico’s central bank released data indicating Mexicans abroad sent home $23.6 billion in 2014, almost all of it from the United States. Payments from workers abroad make up just 2 percent of Mexican GDP, but they can play a much bigger role in particular local economies. One study concluded that “the poorest rural areas” of the country derive 19.5 percent of their income from remittances. Whatever their economic impact, the payments are widespread: An estimated 83 percent of Mexicans who enter the country illegally send money home. But so do 73 percent of legal Mexican immigrants — making a blanket restriction on remittances virtually impossible.

Still, the U.S. government can make it extremely difficult to send money to a country. The Treasury Department has enacted a series of regulations designed to restrict terrorism financing that holds intermediary banks responsible if the money they transfer ends up in the hands of terror groups. Somalia has no functioning traditional banks, and in February, U.S. banks largely stopped servicing the accounts used by money-transfer operators in Somalia. Somali-Americans are now complaining that they have no way to send money back to their families.

Trump knows this but continues to insist he can accomplish the goal of building his 2,500-mile wall and get the Mexicans to pay for it.  In this, he appeals to the simple-minded, low-information voter who's as ignorant of the realities of governance as he is.

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