Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Trump's Plan to Extort Mexico

Donald Trump's plan to force Mexico to pay for his wall would be funny if it wasn't an actual policy prescription. He has it in days. On Day 1 you cut off all remittances to Mexico. On Day 2 Mexico protests. On Day 3 President Trump would tell the Mexican government that remittances would start flowing--that is, he would stop enforcing his own law--once they coughed up billions (the exact amount is not given) for the wall. There are other threats, such as cancelling (not cutting, but cancelling existing) visas, raising the price of visas, and somehow forcing Mexico to buy more U.S. goods. The Trump memo uses the verb "compelling" rather than "extorting."

Extortion is the proposal of the front-runner of the Republican Party.

I always find it odd how people believe that punishing Mexico (or Central America) can make the immigration situation better. Forcing a neighboring country into depression leads both to more emigration and to violence, all of which would immediately reverberate back into the United States. I suppose people figure that a 1,000 foot wall (or whatever Best Trump Wall In The World would be) would magically stop that.

That such a proposal of intentional immiseration comes--and gleefully no less--from a front-runner should make us all feel shame.


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