Monday, September 05, 2016

US banks wary of being Trump's immigration enforcer

The Hill reports:
Under the proposal detailed on Trump’s campaign website, the Republican would rely on a section of the Patriot Act to effectively force banks and money transfer companies to determine whether a person trying to send money abroad is a legal resident of the U.S.

That section of the law was written to crack down on terrorist financing and requires banks and other financial institutions to verify the identities of people opening accounts and doing business with them.

Trump has vowed on his first day in office, he would expand that requirement to include wire transfers and require that no foreign person living in the U.S. can send money outside the country without first proving their legal status.

The businessman predicts that Mexico will agree to pay for a border wall within a matter of days to keep money flowing over the border.

The Trump campaign has also floated increasing visa fees, cancelling visas, and establishing trade tariffs against Mexico as ways to pay for a border wall, but cutting off remittances is the centerpiece of his plan.

Banks contend that they do not have a method of establishing the legal status of a person in the U.S. A person can open an account or send money abroad simply by showing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which is given out by the government to people lacking a Social Security number, including people who are in the U.S. illegally.
Banks sure can know if you are here legally: they could start asking for a birth certificate, they already ask for Social Security numbers.