Last week, presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed a plan to stop all remittances to Mexico from illegal immigrants. That would mean that those residing in this country who are not legal citizens would be prohibited from wiring money to Mexico unless Mexico agrees to help fund a wall at America's southern border.
Trump is on the correct track.
A 2008 study found remittances from the U.S. to Latin America were costing the U.S. nearly $70 billion. That's right: $70 billion funneled out of the U.S. economy every year.
Newer data show that Mexico collects around $25 billion in remittances annually from the U.S. -- a bigger contributor to the Mexican economy than either oil or tourism. So it would make financial sense for Mexican leaders to pony up a one-time expense of $10 billion for a wall versus forfeiting $25 billion each year in remittances from immigrants working in the U.S.
Over the past decade, Crete and other nearby communities with a sizable immigrant communities have been significantly harmed by money being sent out country.
In generations past, that money was recycled many times over at area businesses. It was spent locally to improve homes and neighborhoods, which meant higher home values, which led to more property tax collections for better schools, streets and infrastructure.
Not only are we now losing those dollars to money transfers going south of the border, U.S. taxpayers are left with higher bills to pay for:
- Free K-12 education for the children of immigrants (including government funded breakfasts and lunches);
- Law enforcement and prisons needed to address higher crime rates and gang activity;
- Health care costs, including emergency room visits;
- Expanded social welfare programs; and
- Identity theft that comes with stolen social security numbers and other information needed to circumvent background check systems.
We are thankful at least one candidate has the guts to "go there" and address the issues contributing to the deterioration of America's quality of life. It beats turning a blind eye to our problems while continuing to promise rainbows, unicorns and utopia by stealing more from American taxpayers.
Eventually, reality will force lawmakers to take action, whether prompted by another major terrorist attack or a revolt at the ballot box. While we wait for the politicians to figure it out, let's keep pressuring those who are being paid with tax dollars to protect us.
If you know of illegal aliens residing in the United States, call the detention and removal offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The number is 952-853-2550 and press “0.”