There is a strong consideration on an increase in remittance tax, which will be used to fund the building of the border wall, between the US and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrant.
The remittance tax bill was introduce by Alabama Congressman, Mike Rogers on March 30. They are looking to amend the electronic funds transfer by adding a 2 percent increase in tax on any money being sent to Jamaica and 43 other countries covering Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mexican President Enrique Peno Nieto had made it clear to President Trump that he would not fit the bill on the border wall, many persons in the diaspora thought remittance was a possible option they would examine. Trump had responded that Mexico would pay for the wall one way or the other so persons are assuming they are included in the countries that would bear the remittance tax.
Managing Director of the Caribbean Immigration Services in New York, Erwin G. Claire, spoke to reporters that Trump understands billions of dollars are sent home annually through remittance.
He said the diaspora groups will oppose it, even with the US House of Representatives and Senate in Republic hands, though a “strong opposition” should not be expected. “People may disagree with me on this, but if we have not been more aggressive on the immigration front, I don’t see a whole lot of issues taking place on this front. I don’t expect a major pushback.”
It listed a penalty of not more than US$500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the remittance transfer, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both; for people found guilty of evading the transaction fee.
If passed, the bill could have a heavy impact on remittance inflow to Latin America and the Caribbean.
The largest destination for remittances from the US is Mexico, which Pew Research estimates was equal to US$24 billion in 2015.
There is also the tax increase on stamp duty, tariffs on imports which are options could be used to have Mexico fund the border wall erection that is still optional.