Donald Trump says curbs on remittances sent home by illegal immigrants will pressure Mexico to fund a border wall. A federal program created by President George W. Bush actually helps those illegals transfer their money to Mexico and other countries.
Judicial Watch, a public interest law-firm, highlighted the “Directo a Mexico” program that was launched by the Federal Reserve back in 2006.
“The goal,” the watchdog group wrote, “was to provide low-cost banking services to illegal immigrants and facilitate the process for those sending money home. Remittances are transferred through the Federal Reserve’s own automated clearinghouse linked directly to Mexico’s central bank (Banco de Mexico).”
According to Judicial Watch, the program was created by George W. Bush on the heels of the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity initiative.
The program, though, was directly geared to undermine immigration laws and, as Judicial Watch notes, “is a potential national security nightmare.”
Donald Trump has claimed most of the $25 billion sent out of the country every year is sent by illegal immigrants and even back in 2001 Federal Reserve officials admitted that such remittances were sent out mostly by illegals.
As the Bush-era brochure aimed at helping illegals learn about the program noted, even if an illegal is arrested and/or deported their bank accounts are safe from confiscation. “The money still belongs to you and can easily be accessed at an ATM in Mexico using your debit card,” the brochure insisted.
Judicial Watch is reacquainting the nation with this program, they say, to balance the reporting on the issue because the media has “omitted this information” in its reporting on Trump’s policy proposal.
Trump has suggested that as president he’d look into putting a halt to foreign remittances until Mexico ponies the up to $10 billion need to help pay for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com