*This happened yesterday, while the rest of us were mesmerized by the Peckinpahesque implosion of the Trump administration, congress was moving a piece of legislation that would fund the Trumpian border wall with a tax on the person-to-person wire transfers known as remittances. VL
By Jason Beaubien, NPR (5 minute read)
One of President Trump’s boldest, most ambitious proposals on the campaign trail was to build a wall along the Southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Amid the tumult of Trump’s first few months in office, the border wall hasn’t gotten as much attention as some other things. But new legislation has been introduced in Congress to help fund it.
It’s called the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017, introduced on March 30 by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
And it would put a 2 percent tax on all person-to-person wire transfers to Mexico, the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.
It’s not the only bill targeting remittances. An earlier proposal in the Senate, which didn’t advance out of committee, would have placed a 7 percent “fine” on remittances unless the sender can prove he or she is in the U.S. legally.
It should be noted that these proposals would only apply to personal transfers and not to businesses moving money abroad to say, Mexico or the Cayman Islands.
As you might expect, people who send remittances are not happy.
“I’ve already earned my money and paid taxes on it,” says Rafael Villalobos Jr., a community college administrator in eastern Washington state who regularly sends money to his parents in Mexico. “The whole thing with this administration is about not having to pay more taxes, yet I have to pay an extra tax on money that I’ve already earned when I give it to my parents just because they are coincidentally on the other side of the border.”