Cutting Welfare to Illegal Aliens Would Pay for Trump’s Wall

Paul Sperry, New York Post, March 0, 2018

Mexico won’t have to pay for the wall, after all. US taxpayers won’t have to pick up the tab, either. The controversial barrier, rather, will cover its own cost just by closing the border to illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole.

That’s the finding of recent immigration studies showing the $18 billion wall President Trump plans to build along the southern border will pay for itself by curbing the importation of not only crime and drugs, but poverty.

“The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling,” Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Post.

Federal data shows that a wall would work. A two-story corrugated metal fence in El Paso, Texas, first erected under the Bush administration has already curtailed illegal border crossings there by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which it was built.


If a wall stopped 50 percent of those expected crossings, [Steven Camarota] says, it would save American taxpayers a whopping $64 billion — almost four times the wall’s cost — to say nothing of the additional billions in federal savings from reduced federal drug interdiction and border-security enforcement.


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.

While the national media routinely report that illegal immigrants don’t go on welfare, Camarota says this is a pervasive myth. While in most cases they can’t legally qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid or other public benefits, the reality is that the vast majority of households headed by illegal immigrants are on welfare through their children.


In addition, Camarota said the IRS each year pays out billions to illegal immigrants in refundable child tax credits and the earned income tax credit.

While Democrats complain the $18 billion price tag for the Trump wall is too high, the “Dreamers” amnesty bill they want Trump and Republicans to pass in exchange for funding the wall (or ideally in spite of the wall) would cost US taxpayers even more than the construction of the border partition over 10 years.

“The cost of the DREAM Act has been estimated as very large — a $26 billion net cost in the first 10 years,” Camarota noted.

Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that 3 million DREAM Act recipients would receive an estimated $12 billion-plus in ObamaCare subsidies, more than $5.5 billion in Medicaid benefits, $5.5 billion in earned-income and child-tax credits and more than $2 billion in food stamps.

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