Trump: Mexico's Paying for That Wall, and Here's How
He'd cut off billions of dollars in transfers sent by immigrants to family in Mexico
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2016 2:19 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a rally at the Milwaukee Theatre on Monday in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Two former Mexican presidents have already said there's no way their country will ever pay for the "stupid" "f---ing wall" that Donald Trump insists he'll erect between the US and Mexico if he becomes president—which has led to lots of head-scratching over how exactly Trump would "make" Mexico contribute a single penny. The GOP front-runner elaborated on Tuesday, releasing a campaign memo that lays out what reads more like an extortion scheme than a financial proposal. "It's an easy decision for Mexico," the memo reads, per the Washington Post. "Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year." The $24 billion he's referencing: what he says Mexico receives annually "in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States," sent home to their families in Mexico. (The Post notes that figure, give or take a billion, technically includes cash sent from Mexicans living all over the world.)

Trump's even got it sketched out almost to the hour if he takes over the White House, notes CBS News: On the first day, he'd detail what CNN calls a "broad interpretation" of the Patriot Act and the changes needed to the act to pull off his plan. (Per his new rules, money transfer companies would have to verify recipient IDs and legal statuses before sending funds.) On the second day, Mexico "will immediately protest," and on the third day, Trump will make his ultimatum to Mexico to pay up or he'll get his pen out to modify the act and make the proposed new rules official. He also tacks on the option of raising visa fees and canceling visas outright, placing strangleholds on "important people in the Mexican economy." "Mexico has taken advantage of us," the memo concludes, going on to rail against all of the criminal activity in the US that Trump believes has been perpetuated by Mexican gangs, drug cartels, and traffickers. "We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again."