President Trump will make Mexico pay for the border wall by imposing a small toll on border crossers and possibly taxing remittances. The president revealed the plan during a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Tuesday night.
The US-Mexico border is the most crossed international boundary in the world, with approximately 350 million legal crossings every year, and more than a billion dollars worth of goods crosses the southern border on a given day. A small toll on each crossing could quickly cover the price tag of the new wall, which the Department of Homeland Security estimates to be around $21.6 billion.
"We’re putting a small toll on and maybe we’re going to do something with remittance," Trump said. "All the money that we spent on the wall will be coming back."
Upwards of $38 million in remittances, money sent to Mexico, is taken out of the US economy every year. At that rate, a 15-percent tax on remittances could generate enough revenue to cover the estimated expense of the border wall in just a few years' time.
The US-Mexico border spans over 1,970 miles, and some 370 miles of new border wall has been completed, according to U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In April, CBP launched a webpage that shows where wall construction is planned, taking place, or already completed. The webpage features an interactive map where users can see the specific details of the various construction sites along the US border.
The border wall is one of President Trump's central campaign promises from the 2016 election. Despite a congress that refuses to help the president deliver on his promise to the American people, President Trump has secured funding for the new infrastructure through creative means, such as redirecting some $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds towards the construction of the new wall.