When GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump first talked about building a “big, beautiful wall” at the southern border of the U.S. he was met with fierce resistance. Given the facts that the southern border is the main route used by drug smugglers and criminal illegal immigrants (all persons who cross the border illegal commit a Federal misdemeanor the first time, a felony the second time) there would not seem to be a good reason to resist lawful regulation of border entry. As usual, the answer may be in who gains from the absence of a Wall, and what they gain. The best way to get the answer is to follow the money.
Right now the transfer of money from persons working in the U.S. to Mexico, called “personal remittances” are a major source of Mexican revenue. The growth of remittance revenue is a recent development. Mexico seized the assets of nearly all foreign oil companies operating in Mexico in 1938. But as American sanctuary cities flouted Federal law and encouraged illegal immigration after 1980, those working in the U.S. started to wire transfer money back to their families in amounts that became so large that by the late 1990s remittances to Mexico were the second largest source of foreign revenues, second only to oil revenues.