An analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) estimated last week that President Donald Trump’s border wall would only need to stop a small percentage of illegal crossings to pay for itself over the course of the next decade.
Using figures from the National Academies of Sciences and the Institute for Defense Analyses, CIS calculated how much each illegal immigrant cost the United States over their average lifespan.
It found that Trump’s border wall would only need to stop 3 to 4 percent of future illegal entries — or 60,000 illegal immigrants — over a decade to cover the $5 billion price tag Trump announced.
Read the analysis below:
If the number of illegal crossing in 2018 was to continue for the next 10 years, the lifetime net fiscal drain from the 1.7 to two million new illegal immigrants would be $140 billion to $164 billion — $82,191 multiplied by the cost of each successful crosser. For a wall costing $5 billion to pay for itself, it would have to stop or deter 3 to 4 percent (about 60,000) of the expected successful illegal crossers over the next decade.
CIS director of research Steven A. Camarota also looked at the potential cost of illegal immigration assuming both illegal crossings and the cost of illegal immigrants was cut in half:
If we assume that the number of successful illegal crossings in the next decade without a wall will be half (850,000 to one million) the 2018 level, and we further assume that the cost of each illegal crosser is half ($41,096) of what we have estimated, then the wall would have to stop or deter 12 to 14 percent of expected crossers in the next decade.
Border wall funding has become an especially controversial topic as it has prompted the longest government shutdown in American history. While many Democrats have pointed out that Trump said he would make Mexico pay for the wall, Trump has argued that would happen through trade.
Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s top aides, argued last month that Trump’s border wall would easily pay for itself given the enormous cost of narcotics coming across the border.
Watch his comments below:
“Just the savings from trade alone will fund it,” he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “[…] Just the cost of heroin in our country a year is $230 billion. Just the cost of public benefits for illegal immigrants every year is over $100 billion.”