President Donald Trump is heading down to San Diego, California, tomorrow to see how eight border wall prototypes have been coming along. He’ll spend three hours in San Diego looking at the 30-foot tall prototypes for the wall, of which only $3 billion has been budgeted for in his 2018 budget. It’s the 2019 budget in which Trump hopes to fully fund construction of the wall, estimates for the cost of which average out around $20 billion.
Trump has famously promised to “make Mexico pay for the wall,” and doubled down on the claim by saying that the wall “just got ten feet taller” every time a Mexican politician refused to pay, but he doesn’t need them to. In fact, given the amount of money we spend on illegal immigrants currently, we could easily pay for the wall by diverting those funds.
According to the New York Post,
The controversial barrier, rather, will cover its own cost just by closing the border to illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole.
That’s the finding of recent immigration studies showing the $18 billion wall President Trump plans to build along the southern border will pay for itself by curbing the importation of not only crime and drugs, but poverty.
“The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling,” Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Post.
Federal data shows that a wall would work. A two-story corrugated metal fence in El Paso, Texas, first erected under the Bush administration has already curtailed illegal border crossings there by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which it was built.
Absent a wall, the Homeland Security Department forecasts an additional 1.7 million illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border over the next decade.
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.
As we’ve reported previously, the total cost of illegal immigration is $113 billion a year at the federal, state, and local level, with the vast majority of the costs ($84 billion) placed upon state and local governments.
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A border wall costs a lot – but not anywhere near as much as illegal immigration.
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