Jamaicans living in the US and who want to send remittances to their families a yard might soon have to contribute to the construction of the Mexican border wall.
Jamaicans have been wondering when will US President Donald Trump makes a rule that will hit hard at home. Now they have gotten the answer.
A United States congressman is proposing that an amendment is made to the US Electronic Fund Transfer Act to impose a fee for remittance transfers to certain foreign countries which include Jamaica.
In the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, March 30, Representative Mike Rogers, of Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District that includes Auburn, introduced HR 1813, presented a bill entitled Border Wall Funding Act of 2017.
The bill allows for a 2% fee to be charged for sending money to recipients in 42 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The bill, further suggests that the remittance fees will be submitted to the US Treasury to be expended for the purpose of building President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.
The bill read;
A remittance transfer provider shall collect from the sender of such remittance transfer a remittance fee equal to 2% of the United States dollar amount to be transferred (excluding any fees or other charges imposed by the remittance transfer provider) .
A 2% tax is estimated to generate a net more than US$2 billion annually if it is applied to all money regardless of who is sending it.
Failure to compile will result in 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 this bill is passed, it could have a heavy impact on remittance inflow to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Pew Research estimates that Jamaica received US$2.338 billion in global remittances in 2015, with US$1.669 billion of that coming directly from the US, and another US$500 million from Canada and the United Kingdom.
The other options the US is looking at in generating funds from the Mexicans to build the wall includes raising tariffs on imports, levying a “border adjustment” tax and increasing travel visa and border crossing fees.
Jamaicans both at home and in the US are praying that this bill is not passed.