President Obama said Republican presidential candidates have done damage to American foreign policy with their comments, and he said he repeatedly gets questions from foreign leaders about “the wackier suggestions” by Donald J. Trump and other Republicans.
The president, speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday April 4th, said Mr. Trump’s proposal to block remittances from Americans to families in Mexico would not work and could cause more illegal immigration from a damaged Mexican economy.
“The notion that we are going to track every Western Union bit of money that is being sent to Mexico, good luck with that,” Mr. Obama said.
“Trump is a venom-spitting psychopath,” says Mexican politician Gustavo Madero, a National Action Party (PAN) congressman.
“It would be a disaster if he were the Republican candidate,” adds Madero. “We would live through a political campaign of manure-slinging during which he would try to bring out the worst in the most racist sector of society, radicalizing it even more and empowering it.” Trump’s impact reaches beyond the United States and “is harmful for the entire international political system,”
But despite the criticism and even when Mexican officials have said they won’t pay a “single cent for such a stupid wall; Trump outlined the situation on his website in a simple way:
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.”
On Saturday April 9th, The Washington Post editorial board published an article declaring that if Mr. Trump carries out his threat, the result would be disastrous not just for Mexico but for the United States as well. Millions of Mexicans and Mexican towns and villages, many of them already impoverished, would suddenly be deprived of a critical source of income. Hunger, disease and crime rates would spike; children would be among the most obviously and severely affected.
Meanwhile, in an interview with breitbart.com, former UN Ambassador John Bolton said: “When confronted with Trump’s suggestion, Barack Obama’s first instinct is to worry about the people of Mexico.” Though he acknowledged that we are all humanitarians, Bolton added, “Honestly, don’t you expect the American President to think about the American people first?”
Bolton stated he thinks that Barack Obama, John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton are lousy negotiators, while he qualified Donald Trump’s comments as a “bargaining position” more than anything else.
On April 5th, Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor for Donald Trump, told Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon he was shocked at President Obama’s response to Trump’s proposal to end remittances from illegal aliens back to Mexico as a means of curtailing illegal immigration, as it appeared the president was more concerned with Mexico’s economy than jobs for Americans.
Worldwide, a record 250 million migrants have left home for a better life this year, according to the World Bank. Those workers will send an estimated $601 billion to families back home, with developing countries receiving $441 billion, according to the bank.
The U.S. is biggest single source of those funds — with an estimated $56 billion outflow last year — followed by Saudi Arabia ($37 billion) and Russia ($33 billion). India took in the largest flow of remittances, with an estimated $72 billion last year, followed by China ($64 billion) and the Philippines ($30 billion), according to World Bank data.
Mexico took in some $25 billion last year through such personal remittances. While that sounds like a lot of money, it represents only a small fraction (about two percent) of Mexico’s gross domestic product.
While losing $10 billion in remittances would have a limited impact on Mexico’s $1.3 trillion economy, the full price of Trump’s immigration plan could be much higher.
In addition to constructing a wall, Trump has proposed large-scale deportation of all undocumented immigrants, not just Mexicans.
It’s tough to estimate just how much that would cost — a lot depends on the specific details of any deportation plan. But some researchers have taken a run at the question.
Blocking remittances completely would be an unprecedented move. Even at the height of the Cold War, the U.S. allowed Cuban exiles to send remittances back home to their relatives.
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