According to federal immigration data, President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall would pay for itself simply by serving its intended purpose: keeping illegal freeloaders out of the country.

Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The New York Post, “The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling.” Indeed, data from the Homeland Security Department shows that the wall would only need to prevent 12 percent of future illegal crossings in order to cover its $18 billion price tag:

Absent a wall, the Homeland Security Department forecasts an additional 1.7 million illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border over the next decade.

If a wall stopped just 200,000 of those future crossings, Camarota says, it would pay for itself in fiscal savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

Even better, if the wall stopped 50 percent of those 1.7 million expected illegal crossings, it would save American taxpayers a whopping $64 billion – and that’s not including the billions that would be saved from reduced federal drug interdiction and border-security enforcement. (RELATED: Congressman Introduces Bill to Defund Sanctuary Cities, Use Money to Fund Border Wall).

Furthermore, an encouraging precedent for Trump’s wall already exists. A two-story corrugated metal fence in El Paso that was erected under the Bush administration has already curbed illegal border crossing thereby more than 89 percent. Can you imagine how much money American taxpayers would save if similar results were achieved along the entire Mexican border? It would be a staggering number.

But outside preventing illegal crossings and drug smuggling, Trump’s wall would also save Americans’ wallets by cutting welfare to illegals who receive handouts through their U.S.-born children:

“A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households is received on behalf of their US-born children,” Camarota said. “This is especially true of households headed by illegal immigrants.”

Therefore, illegal border-crossers create an average fiscal burden of more than $72,000 during their lifetimes, Camarota says. Including costs for their US-born children, the fiscal drain jumps to more than $94,000.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 62 percent of illegal-immigrant-headed households use welfare, which is more than double the rate for households headed by native-born Americans. A border wall would effectively put an end to that.

Meanwhile, it’s been estimated that the Democrats’ DREAM Act would cost Americans $26 billion in its first 10 years. So, which sounds better: a wall that could potentially save more than double that amount, or an act that would reward blatantly breaking immigration law at the expense of American taxpayers?