Politics

Here’s how Donald Trump says he would force Mexico to pay for a wall

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Jim Young/REUTERS
Donald Trump spoke Monday night at a campaign event in Milwaukee.

Donald Trump, who is fighting to stay in the lead as Wisconsin voters head to their presidential primary Tuesday, has offered an explanation for how he says he would force Mexico to pay for his plan to build a wall between the two countries: go after money transfers.

The candidate’s proposal comes in a two-page memo issued to The Washington Post.

“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” Trump writes in the memo, dated March 31. “Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion [sic] to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.”

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Trump writes that the majority of remittances Mexicans receive from the US “comes from illegal aliens,” serving “as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico.”

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The World Bank estimates that in 2014, nearly $24 billion were sent from the United States to Mexico in remittances, money often sent to family members in the home country.

The real estate tycoon also seems to be willing to cancel visas and increase fees in order to enact his policy.

The memo expands on comments he made in August.

President Barack Obama called the proposal “one more example of something that is not thought through and primarily put forward for political consumption” in response to a question during a news conference about corporate tax inversions.

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“People around the world . . . don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House. We can’t afford that,” the president said.

Trump’s plan to build wall at the southern border — and force Mexico to pay for it — has been one of the most controversial points of his campaign, and one of the few firm stances he has taken in the race.

Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto, have said Mexico will not pay for the wall, calling the plan “absurd.” Former president Vicente Fox made waves when he used an expletive to criticize the policy in February.

Trump has claimed the wall would cost $8 billion, though one expert told The Washington Post the candidate’s proposal would cost at least $25 billion.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Nicole Hernandez can be reached at nicole.hernandez@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @NRHSJax.