Since the beginning of his campaign, Donald Trump’s critics have had no trouble picking apart his border wall plan. Specifically, his plan to make Mexico pay for the wall has been met with doubt, even among many of his supporters. Recently Trump laid out his plan to make Mexico pay for his border wall, and believe it or not, it may be plausible. However, it would require his administration to fiddle with the Patriot Act, or alternatively, declare a state of emergency.
Trump’s plan involves cutting off remittance payments to Mexico. These are the payments that immigrants in America, illegal or otherwise, send back to their families across the border. This would amount to tens of billions of dollars a year until Mexico pays for the wall. These remittance payments generate more money for Mexico than their oil industry, so this would completely devastate their economy.
The question that’s on everyone’s mind, is how could any president find the legal authority to do this? Trump says he could alter a provision of the Patriot Act that regulates a portion of these payments, though many experts doubt this would be legal. Other tactics would include raising trade tariffs, raising the cost of border crossing cards, and cancelling visas.
If for whatever reason he can’t pull that off, he could always declare a state of emergency in regards to illegal immigration. Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president could say that illegal immigration is a threat to public health or national security, and issue an executive order to halt all payments to Mexico.