Obama trashes Trump plan to force Mexico to pay for wall

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WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama dismissed as “half-baked” Donald Trump’s plan to force Mexico to pay for a border wall by holding hostage the money its citizens send home from the United States. The Republican frontrunner’s promise to build the wall and force Mexico to foot the estimated $8 billion bill is a cornerstone of his under-fire campaign to win the US presidency. In a memo that the flamboyant New York tycoon handed over to The Washington Post, the candidate said he would force Mexico’s hand by threatening to cut off billions of dollars sent home by Mexican immigrants. “This is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption,” Obama told a news conference in response, on Tuesday. “The notion that we’re going to track every Western Union bit of money that’s being sent to Mexico: good luck with that,” he said. Remittances are one of the most important sources of income for Mexico along with oil and tourism. In 2014, more than $24 billion was wired into Mexico from overseas, including payments from immigrants not just in the United States but in other countries such as Britain and Canada, according to the World Bank.

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