As President Trump appears to fold on his funding request for a border wall, though tweet-xclaiming “it will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.,” a top Mexican official on Tuesday said that Mexico may consider charging a fee for Americans entering the country in what could be seen as a retaliation to President Trump’s posturing.
Trump has asked congress to include a down payment on the wall in the spending bill but because of scrutiny from both sides, the President announced Monday that he’d be willing to wait until September to revisit the issue of funding; however, his stance on Mexico’s role in paying for the wall hasn’t changed. And as Fox News reports, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, in a meeting with Mexico’s top legislators, called Trump’s plan an “unfriendly, hostile” act, and called on his colleagues to consider the entry fee.
“We could explore – not necessarily a visa, that could impede a lot of people from coming to Mexico – but we could perhaps (have) a fee associated with entry,” Videgaray said. “This is something that I’m sure will be part of our discussion, and I believe we can find points of agreement.”
Videgaray went on to say that Mexico would not pay a cent towards the wall. He said if talks between the U.S. and Mexico fail to satisfy both countries, the Mexican government would consider reducing security cooperation.
“If the negotiation on other themes — immigration, the border, trade — isn’t satisfactory to Mexico’s interests, we will have to review our existing cooperation,” Videgaray said. “This would be especially in the security areas … and that involves the national immigration agency, the federal police and of course, the armed forces.”
So, trade deficits, tax plans, and budget decisions aside, who will really pay for the wall? American tourists via a transfer tax on entry to Mexico? Well Ted Cruz has an even more cunning plan. As RT reports, President Donald Trump’s much vaunted Mexican border wall could be built using the fortune of a notorious drug kingpin, according to Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has proposed the ‘El Chapo Act’.
Cruz, a one time political rival to Trump, has backed the president’s desire to build a 1,000 mile-long (1600km) barrier between the US and Mexico.
Cruz has now gone a step further by proposing the so-called ‘El Chapo Act’, or the Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order, which would use any of the $14 billion being sought by the US government in a case against Mexican drug boss Joaquín Guzmán, to construct the barrier.
The US indictment alleges the 59-year-old, who was previously given a 20-year sentence in his homeland for murder and drug offences, led the violent Sinaloa Cartel and amassed “$14 billion from narcotics sales throughout the United States and Canada.”
“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” Cruz said in a statement.
“Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. We must also be mindful of the impact on the federal budget. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”
Now that is a border wall funding plan we suspect many could get behind.