GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall at the U.S.–Mexico border could increase crime, not stop it, according to an analysis by Politico
He detailed his plans to the Washington Post
, proposing using the $24 billion in payments that immigrants send home as leverage in the deal. However, experts believe that this could lead to crime because investigators would no longer have the ability to trace money tied to terrorists or human traffickers.
"I guarantee you," said Don Semesky, formerly of the DEA's Financial Investigation Unit, "before the wall has five bricks in it, there would be an informal black market.
Semesky added the plan "would probably kill the industry."
In Trump's plan, he said that if Mexico doesn't build the wall, he would stop the money transfers. Immigrants sent nearly $25 billion to Mexico in 2015.
Trump said in the memo to the Post, "the majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens."
He also plans to use a part of the Patriot Act that stops money lenders, such as Western Union, from using wire transfers unless the sender can prove they are U.S. citizens.
However, the idea might not be legal.
"It's not clear that something like that would withstand a court review," said Timothy Ogden, the managing director of NYU's Financial Access Initiative.
Ron Paul told the Fox Business Network, "It sounds like theft," according to The Hill
Banks would leave the wire transfer business, said John Byrne, chairman of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, "because there is no way to determine if a transfer is illegal, suspicious, or what have you."
Wire transfers make up money-lending firms' entire business, Byrne said.
Trump "is not going to coerce Mexico into paying for this wall," said former Washington Attorney Gen. Rob McKenna in a KIRO radio interview
. "It would be politically impossible for Mexican authorities to pay for this wall, even if they wanted to."
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