NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 14, 2006

A new state proposal asks voters to approve construction of a security wall along the Mexican border and pay for it via a new tax on wire transfers from Arizona to foreign countries.

The measure is under consideration by the state Legislature and has the support of Republicans in favor of tougher border security and immigration controls. GOP sponsors include State Reps. Russell Pearce and Rick Murphy and state Sens. Dean Martin, Ron Gould and Thayer Verschoor.

The ballot question asks voters to approve a Mexican border wall to be constructed by the state government. It piggybacks on federal plans to construct border walls and security fences along the 2,000-mile southern border.

  • Mexican immigrants and nationals working in the United States sent $20 billion back to Mexico in 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.
  • The proposed ballot question would assess a new 8 percent tax on international money transfers from Arizona.
  • Those funds would be used construct the wall and pay for other border security efforts.

Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks and Rick Renzi have voiced support for increased border walls and fences. Franks supports a measure building a wall along the entire border. Renzi supports Israeli-style security fences near border cities and well traveled crossing points.

Arizona is a top entry point for illegal immigrants entering the United States as well as Mexican drug cartels and smugglers, say observers. However, Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano said last week she opposes the border wall idea, arguing it would not stop illegal immigration. The governor prefers more technology and manpower be shipped to the border. She also opposes federal measures to construct security barriers along the 2,000-mile U.S./Mexican border.

Source: Mike Sunnucks, "Bill calls for Mexican border wall paid for by tax on foreign money transfers, Phoenix Business Journal, February 8, 2006.

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