A new study says there may be no need for President Donald Trump to have Mexico pay for the southern border wall, because it would pay for itself in savings to the American taxpayer.
The Center for Immigration Studies report revealed the costs of the $18 billion wall would be quickly compensated by curbing the number of illegal immigrants who enter the country and enroll in public programs, as well as the costs associated with crime.
“The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling,” CIS President Steven A. Camarota told New York Post.
According to federal data, illegal border crossings in El Paso, Texas dropped 89 percent over a 5- year period after a two-story-high fence was erected during the George W. Bush administration.
Without a wall, the Homeland Security Department estimates there will be 1.7 million illegal crossings from Mexico into the U.S. over the next decade.
Camarota said if just 200,000 of those crossings were stopped by the wall, it would pay for itself in savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries.
According to CIS, 75 percent of the illegal immigrants in the country are from those regions.
Camarota added if the crossings were reduced by 50 percent, the savings to the American taxpayer would be $64 billion, or well over 3.5 times the wall’s cost.
“A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children,” he said. “This is especially true of households headed by illegal immigrants.”
The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest “survey of income and program participation” showed 62 percent of illegal immigrant heads of household are on the federal dole.
Appearing Monday on “Fox & Friends,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, affirmed the conclusions of the CIS study.
“When you look at what a wall will do in allowing us to apprehend the vast majority of those individuals that are coming across the border, it will cut down on how much the taxpayer burden will be, which then will go straight into funding the wall,” he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated in January that the administration is seeking funding for 700 miles of wall construction to target strategic areas along the 2,000-mile border.
There are currently approximately 650 miles of fencing in various forms.
Around 350 miles consist of pedestrian fencing, usually about 15-feet tall, and there are 300 miles of vehicle barriers.
Fox News reported that Trump plans to view the eight prototypes of his “big, beautiful wall” on Tuesday near San Diego.
Each is 30-feet high. Four are made of concrete, while the others incorporate concrete among other construction materials.
At a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, Trump affirmed, “We are building the wall, 100 percent,” in response to chants of “Build that wall.”
“For people, for gangs, for drugs. The drugs have never been a problem like we have right now,” the president stated.
He also told the crowd he would not accede to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s request to state publicly that his country would not have to pay for the wall.
Trump recounted ending the call: “I said ‘Bye, bye. We’re not making that deal.'”
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