US

Billions in US remittances a lifeline for many in Mexico

  • People walk past signs advertising money transfer services outside a business in Mexico City, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. U.S. Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is threatening to block billions of dollars in U.S. remittances to force Mexico to pay for his proposed border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

    People walk past signs advertising money transfer services outside a business in Mexico City, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. U.S. Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is threatening to block billions of dollars in U.S. remittances to force Mexico to pay for his proposed border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)  (The Associated Press)

  • Customers are seen inside a business offering money transfers and loans, in Mexico City, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. U.S. Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is threatening to block billions of dollars in U.S. remittances to force Mexico to pay for his proposed border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

    Customers are seen inside a business offering money transfers and loans, in Mexico City, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. U.S. Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is threatening to block billions of dollars in U.S. remittances to force Mexico to pay for his proposed border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 1, 2008 file photo, a Mexican soldier patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border wall on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico. The billions of dollars in U.S. remittances that Donald Trump is threatening to block to force Mexico to pay for a border wall are a financial lifeline for the Latin American country’s economy and millions of individuals who are supported by relatives up north. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias, File)

    FILE - In this April 1, 2008 file photo, a Mexican soldier patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border wall on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico. The billions of dollars in U.S. remittances that Donald Trump is threatening to block to force Mexico to pay for a border wall are a financial lifeline for the Latin American country’s economy and millions of individuals who are supported by relatives up north. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias, File)  (The Associated Press)

The billions of dollars in U.S. remittances that presidential candidate Donald Trump is threatening to block to force Mexico to pay for a border wall are a financial lifeline for the Latin American country's economy and the individuals who receive the money from relatives up north.

For families across Mexico, the cash transfers help put food on the table and clothe children. They can help start a small business, add to humble cinderblock home or buy a second-hand truck to use on a farm.

So it's not surprising that the real estate magnate's proposal — to cut off remittances from the estimated 12 million Mexicans living in the United States unless Mexico makes as one-time payment of $5 billion to $10 billion — on Tuesday elicited negative reactions from many.