Former Mexican Presidents Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon have recently made public statements stating that Mexico will not pay for the wall Donald Trump intends for the U.S. to build along the southern border to stem the flow of illegal immigrants. “I’m not going to pay for that f—ing wall,” Fox said on Fusion TV. Unintimidated, Trump responded without hesitation that the U.S. will build the wall, that now it will be ten feet higher, and that, indeed, Mexico will pay for it. How refreshing it is to hear from a Washington outsider the politically incorrect, but perfectly logical and direct statement that Mexico owes us (not the other way around).
Without question, Mexico should pay for the wall. For decades Mexico has failed to police our mutual border, taking no meaningful action to stem the tide of illegal immigrants into the United States. Indeed, by failing to crack down on illegal immigration and drug operations, Mexico has contributed to the constant flow of illegals and the rise of drug trafficking and drug related crime in the United States. It has also failed to stop an epidemic of murders, kidnappings, and robberies of Americans who vacation or tour south of the border.
The present administration does nothing to alter the abuses that stem from Mexico’s failure to stop illegal emigration from its country to the United States and to make any serious inroads against crimes against Americans perpetrated by Mexicans. Indeed, through its words and deeds this administration placates the Mexican government, consistent with its global apology tour whereby it agrees with foreign governments that the United States has been a global oppressor. The reality is, of course, quite the contrary. There has never been a nation more generous in its largesse to the world and more courageous in its defense of liberty around the world than the United States.
To end the abuses, it will be up to a Trump Administration to alter the American relationship with Mexico and with other nations in the world, to reassert American power and directness in defense of American interests. That will mean a change in the relationship with Mexico in fundamental ways, forcing that country to respect its northern neighbor and guard against the violation of United States’ interests.
As part of a new move to ensure protection of American interests, Donald Trump has rightfully demanded that Mexico pay for the wall needed to keep non-U.S. citizens within Mexican borders. The border will cost at least $12 billion, a price we must pay if we are to reduce illegal immigration from Mexico.
How, then, can the United States force Mexico to pay for the wall? In his policy paper on the wall, Donald Trump says that if Mexico will not pay directly, he will raise the money by increasing fees on temporary visas from Mexican diplomats, executives, and North American Free Trade workers, as well as cutting foreign aid and raising tariffs. The former Mexican presidents say that if tariffs are raised on Mexico, Mexico will respond by raising tariffs on goods sold to the United States. Doing so would, on balance, harm the Mexican economy more than the American.
Even without a tariff war, the imposition of fees combined with the elimination of foreign aid to Mexico would be a very good idea and would save significant sums. Depending on the year, the United States now lavishes on Mexico some $50 to $210 million dollars in aid annually. By permanently ending aid to Mexico, the United States could help reduce the cost of the wall, but will not likely cover the cost, at least not for decades. Nevertheless, because the wall has become a necessity due to the failure of Mexico to guard against illegal immigration, we should insist upon elimination of Mexican aid regardless.
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