While our politicians have no trouble increasing how much they spend every year, they’ve allocated a remarkably small amount of funding towards President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, which could cost as much as $25 billion to build. Only $5 billion has been budgeted for the wall in the 2019 budget.
Border security was once a bipartisan issue, that Democrats have since done a complete 180 on, apparently for the sole purpose of “resisting” Donald Trump. It’s even more surprising that Republicans haven’t acted to immediately fund the wall in its entirety to prevent any political struggles that would arise if they were to split power following the midterms.
President Trump, in response, has threatened to shut down the government (albeit after the midterms). Speaking to Fox News’ Pete Hegseth following a rally in Montana last night, Trump said “If it was up to me, I’d shut down government over border security. And I guess when you get right down to it, it is up to me, but I don’t want to do anything to hurt us or potentially hurt us.”
Government funding runs dry on September 30th, and Congress has yet to send any kind of funding bill to the Trump’s desk.
Congressional Republicans don’t even need to get that creative to come up with funding for the wall. According to Steven A. Camarota, the director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, the wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling. The wall would only have to prevent 200,000 of those crossings to “pay for itself” in terms of savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits, and other benefits currently received by illegal immigrants. If the wall stopped half those crossings, it would pay for itself four times over.
In other words, the border is a money saving endeavor over the long run. It’s a large one time expense for centuries of savings down the road.
And when it comes to preventing border crossings, it would likely do more than just cut them in half. Just take a look at the chart below showing the daily flows of illegal immigrants into Hungary – and take a wild guess when they completed their border fence.
With around 15 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., and hundreds of thousands crossing the border every year, aren’t we a century overdue when it comes to constructing a border wall?