Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would try to force Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the U.S. border by blocking remittances from immigrants in the United States in a move that could cripple the Mexican economy, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Citing a two-page memo from Trump's campaign, the Post said Trump vowed to change a rule under a U.S. anti-terrorism law that would cut off money transfers to Mexico unless it made a one-time payment of $5 billion to $10 billion for the wall, if he is elected in the November U.S. presidential election.
Trump's pledge to build the wall along the southern U.S. border has been a cornerstone of his campaign as part of his larger platform targeting illegal immigration in the United States. While his plan has drawn cheers from his supporters, his harsh rhetoric on the issue, including calling some Mexican immigrants criminals, has drawn fierce criticism.
Mexico has flatly rejected paying for the wall.
In the memo to the Post, Trump's campaign said it could also target visas, either by cancelling them or charging higher fees for Mexicans to visit the United States.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” the memo, dated March 31, said.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)