A former Mexican foreign secretary says that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plans to deport millions of illegal immigrants and force Mexicans to pay for a wall along the southern are “perfectly feasible.”
Jorge Castañeda, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2003, told an audience gathered at the Hudson Institute in Washington that there are several ways in which Trump could make good on his immigration-related promises.
President Barack Obama, despite his amnesty rhetoric, has deported 2 million illegal immigrants during his time in the White House, Castañeda noted, adding that Trump should have no trouble doubling that number.
“He certainly could deport twice as many as Obama, why not, why not? Everybody knows where they it’s very easy to find them. It’s expensive, but it’s not outrageously expensive and you could pressure a bunch of people including my country into paying for part of it and taking them back,” he said.
As for Trump’s wall, the former diplomat doesn’t really see it as a big deal.
“Actually today you have somewhere like 40 percent of the 1,700 mile wall that is already there. So why can’t Trump do what he has promised to do if his three predecessors did a lot of it without wanting to?” he said.
Paying for it, Castañeda said, could be as simple as creating new immigration-related taxes.
“If he really wants Mexicans to pay for the wall, he has many ways of getting many Mexicans to pay for the wall, increasing the fee for visas…increasing the toll on the bridges… taxing remittances,” he said.
Castañeda made clear that his comments weren’t meant to be taken as a Trump endorsement. Both current presidential candidates, he concluded, could pose certain challenges to Mexico’s future.
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