During his press conference today, President Obama was asked about Donald Trump’s latest plan to damage the United States’ economic ties with Mexico. The President reiterated how dangerous and “impractical” it would be if Trump attempted to sever economic ties with our third-largest trading partner and one of our closest allies on the global stage by blocking family remittances. As President Obama said, the implications of ending these remittances are impractical and would collapse the Mexican economy.
Trump has no knowledge and understanding of how to foster diplomatic relationships. Day after day, he threatens our key allies and undermines our economic security both domestically and internationally. Trump simply doesn’t have the temperament necessary to be commander-in-chief.
Q Mr. President, the Republican frontrunner today outlined his plan to –
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, no. (Laughter.)
Q — pay for a wall along the border –
Q Climate change?
Q — barring undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from sending money back home. What would be the real implication of this plan? And are his foreign policy proposals already doing damage to U.S. relations abroad?
THE PRESIDENT: The answer to the latter question is yes. I think that I’ve been very clear earlier that I am getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the wackier suggestions that are being made. I do have to emphasize that it’s not just Mr. Trump’s proposals. You’re also hearing concerns about Mr. Cruz’s proposals, which in some ways are just as draconian when it comes to immigration, for example.
The implications with respect to ending remittances — many of which, by the way, are from legal immigrants and from individuals who are sending money back to their families — are enormous. First of all, they’re impractical. We just talked about the difficulties of trying to enforce huge outflows of capital. The notion that we’re going to track every Western Union bit of money that’s being sent to Mexico, good luck with that.
Then we’ve got the issue of the implications for the Mexican economy, which in turn, if it’s collapsing, actually sends more immigrants north because they can’t find jobs back in Mexico. But this is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption.
And as I’ve tried to emphasize throughout, we’ve got serious problems here. We’ve got big issues around the world. People expect the President of the United States and the elected officials in this country to treat these problems seriously, to put forward policies that have been examined, analyzed, are effective, where unintended consequences are taken into account. They don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House. We can’t afford that.