New York Times
By Michael Shear
April 5, 2016
President Obama said Republican presidential candidates have done damage to American foreign policy with their comments, and he said he repeatedly gets questions from foreign leaders about “the wackier suggestions” by Donald J. Trump and other Republicans.
The president, speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, said Mr. Trump’s proposal to block remittances from Americans to families in Mexico would not work and could cause more illegal immigration from a damaged Mexican economy.
“The notion that we are going to track every Western Union bit of money that is being sent to Mexico, good luck with that,” Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Trump was responding to a report in the Washington Post in which Mr. Trump gave out more details about a proposal he made last summer to “impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.”
In the proposal, made in a two-page letter, Mr. Trump said he would change a rule in the USA Patriot Act to cut off funds sent to Mexico through money transfers – and that the action could only be stalled if Mexico paid between $5 billion and 10 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
The president said that both Mr. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are making statements on the campaign trail that are not thought through and are primarily for political consumption. He said Americans expect presidential candidates to treat those issues seriously.
“They don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House,” he said. “We can’t afford that.”
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