Victoria is Assistant Dean at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo. Her areas of expertise in the domestic policy landscape include immigration, Latinos, women and childcare, and economic equity. more→
Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding policy development and its intersection with institutional and political contexts. Underlying her academic work is the applicability of rigorous research to on-the-ground policy realities.
This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com
Trump’s plan to pay for the border wall is seductively simple. He proposes holding hostage remittances – the money immigrants in the U.S. send back to their countries. The idea is that Mexico is forced to pay the ransom by footing the bill for the border wall. This may sound good to some, but if something seems too easy or too good to be true, it probably is. More importantly, it misses the point of why immigrants are willing to overstay a visa or cross the border in the first place.
But first, about Trump’s plan. If border fence advocates scratch half a millimeter below the surface what they’ll find is a plan that completely ignores macroeconomic theory and turns a blind eye to logistical nuts and bolts.
Let’s start with the logistics. What Trump calls for is for every cent that is wired out of the United States to be tracked by companies such as Western Union. More specifically he stipulates that the blockage of remittances be policed by these companies where they would have to determine who was in the country legally and illegally.
We’re talking about $25 billion. And as President Obama responded to the idea of tracking remittances, “good luck with that.” (more…)