Donald Trump’s proposed border wall will cost between $15-$25 billion, depending upon what estimates you look at. After Barack Obama closed out his presidency with nearly $20 trillion in debt, liberals are concerned with fiscal responsibility all of a sudden.
Unlike most government spending, we can actually expect a return on our investment with a border wall, because it’ll reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into America, which means we won’t have to bear the associated costs. Given that the annual cost of illegal immigration is estimated at around $113 billion, the aggregate cost of illegal immigration is larger than that of a border wall (though, of course, it’s not like all illegals would magically be transported to the other side of the border free of charge once it’s built). Still, the savings would be massive.
A study by the Center for Immigration Studies assumed a cost of the wall between $12-$15 billion, and found that the wall would only have to stop between 9-12% of border crossings over the next decade to pay for itself. That’s obviously an extremely conservative estimate, as the wall would stop a larger percentage, and it doesn’t account for the cost of illegal immigrants who will later have children in the U.S., thus putting the taxpayer on the hook for a whole host of other expenses.
But don’t just take the estimates for it. Let’s take a look at what happened to Hungary when they recently constructed a border wall.
According to Breitbart:The Hungarian government’s decision to rapidly construct strong border fences along their frontiers has had a positive financial effect, achieving substantial savings on the cost of illegal immigration.
Zoltán Kovács, official spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, told Hungarian media last week that “the monies spent on border protection are very obviously being recouped”. Speaking to Breitbart London, the Hungarian government’s International Communications Office explained:
“The Hungarian state spends a total of 5,505 forints on the daily care of each illegal immigrant. To put things in comparison, the minimum wage in Hungary is currently 127,500 forints/month, which equals to 4,250 forints/day.”
This adds up to an annual cost of some 2,009,325 forints per illegal migrant, per year.
Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, recently reported that the introduction of “technical barriers” to illegal migration on the Hungarian/Serbian border slashed crossings via that route from 200,000 in 2015 to 25,000 in 2016 –- a massive theoretical saving.
Directly following the completion of their border fence, they cut the number of illegal immigrants entering from 6,5353 a day to a mere 29 a day within a week. Just take a look at migration patterns in October of 2015 when they constructed the fence – and take a wild guess at what point on the chart reflects when the fence was completed.
Given the large number of illegal immigrants who immigrate from overstaying their visas, actually enforcing the law against those who overstay will be necessary too, but for those entering at the U.S.- Mexico border, the wall will work as intended.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]