This campaign cycle has shown that even the craziest of ideas can gain traction. But Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to block remittances in order to compel Mexico to pay for a border wall is not just outlandish, but also yet another example of Mr. Trump’s bullying and cruel nature [“Trump plans ultimatum to make Mexico pay for wall,” April 6]. The majority of the reporting on Mr. Trump’s proposal is dedicated to the enormous scale of remittances at the macro level and the questionable legality of imposing such a bar on transfers. But the proposal obscures the tremendous human suffering that would result if Mr. Trump were to succeed in cutting off remittances to Mexico.
It is worth recalling what remittances represent: They are primarily a way for immigrants to provide family members still living in Mexico with the most basic of necessities, such as food and shelter. Though Mr. Trump presents his proposal as a way of bullying Mexico, it really is a proposal that strikes at the basic humanity of immigrants, their love for members of their families, and, I believe, all Americans.
Ezra Rosser, Great Falls
In explaining how he’d extort $5 billion to $10 billion from Mexico to pay for a wall between the United States and that country, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made some blunders.
Mr. Trump said he would propose to amend the regulations implementing Section 326 of the Patriot Act, which requires financial institutions to verify the identities of new account holders and check them against lists of known terrorists, by adding a prohibition against any immigrant wiring money outside the United States unless he or she can prove lawful presence in the United States. But Section 326 doesn’t authorize the executive branch to interfere with money transfers on any basis. Authority to interfere with transfers for financing terrorism is presumably found in the specific law against this activity.
Unless there is some specific law against sending money to another country for the purpose of supporting one’s family there, it does not seem possible to issue regulations to achieve that purpose.
Phillip R. Kete, Chesapeake Beach