According to a new analysis, President Trump’s proposed border wall would save American taxpayers an estimated $16 billion in its first three years by eliminating the lifetime cost of allowing in 170,000 illegal immigrants annually.
The savings would cover the cost of the wall, even if its construction tops out at its highest estimated price of $16 billion.
The report released Thursday by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealed that even if the wall failed to deter the majority of illegal entries, it would still pay for itself in a decade by cutting welfare, education, and other associated lifetime costs to federal, state, and local taxpayers to assist undocumented immigrants.
“If a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall,” said the report written by Steven A. Camarota, director of research for CIS.
His analysis found that costs are stimulated by the low education levels attained by illegals, more than half of whom have not completed high school.
“In short, illegal border-crossers are a large net fiscal drain because of their education levels and this fact drives the results,” Camarota wrote. “Therefore, a border wall would pay for itself even if it only stops a modest fraction of those expected to successfully cross in the next decade.”
Having been built by past administrations, much of the southern border wall is already in place. Trump is moving forward with his plans to complete the project, and Congress is considering funding options.
The CIS report exposed some stunning numbers related to illegal immigration and its associated costs to taxpayers.
According to the Institute for Defense Analyses, 170,000 illegal crossings occur annually. In addition to those who cross the border, many join the illegal population “primarily by overstaying a temporary visa.”
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the “taxes paid versus lifetime services used” cost per illegal immigrant is $74,722. When descendants of illegals are added to the equation, the cost rises to $94,391.
The report notes, “If one assumes a 45- or 50-year lifespan for illegal immigrants after they arrive and that the fiscal drain is evenly spread throughout their time in the United States, then the actual average fiscal costs are likely between $140,000 to $150,000.”
Camarota offers several scenarios where a wall would be effective. In one, half of illegal immigrants would be blocked from entering, saving federal, state and local taxpayers nearly $64 billion over a decade. That’s $6.4 billion for preventing entry of 85,000 illegals annually, a cost that would pay for the wall in three years.
In another scenario, he claims that if “a border wall prevented 160,000 to 200,000 illegal crossings (excluding descendants) in the next 10 years it would be enough to pay for the estimated $12 to $15 billion costs of the wall.”
H/T: Washington Examiner
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