So, Mexico refuses to pay for a wall. It doesn’t matter. Building a wall to secure the U.S. border will save U.S. taxpayers nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.
Earlier this week, President Trump issued an Executive Order to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico–and he vowed that Mexico would pay for it.
However, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said on Wednesday that his country “will not pay for any wall.”
Despite what Mexico’s president says, the fact is, if a wall is built, Mexico will end up paying for it—one way or another.
Right now, illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every single year.
Previously, the Heritage Foundation has noted that the cost of each “unlawful immigrant household” to U.S. taxpayers is $14,387 annually.
In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household.
One estimate has even put the costs of illegal immigration as high as $113 billion annually with “nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84 billion at the state and local level.”
Even if that figure is inflated by double to appease would-be critics, the amount of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers would still be more than $56 billion annually.
The cost of building a wall
Building a wall that spans nearly 2,000 miles is not cheap.
In fact, CNN states that building a wall could cost $15 billion to $25 billion.
Even if one considers cost overruns of twenty percent and adds another $5 billion to the total—union labor is not cheap after all—the cost of a wall could run as high as $30 billion.
Although the wall would need to be maintained, the overall $30 billion to construct it would largely be a one-time (granted, multi-year) construction cost.
With that in mind, by reducing the amount of illegal immigrants U.S. taxpayers pay for, the cost savings to the U.S. taxpayers could range from $26 billion (on the low end) to as high as $83 billion in the first post-construction year alone.
Further, every year after the wall is built, those costs savings will rise.
To add it all up, building a wall could save U.S. taxpayers up to $1 trillion over the course of 10 years.
Regardless whether Mexico “pays” for the wall with a check, credit card or not at all, it matters not one iota.
The savings to U.S. taxpayers alone will more than pay for the cost of a wall within the first year of completion and Mexico will need to find a way to bear the costs of taking care of its own citizens—something U.S. taxpayers have been doing for a long time.
For those who believe in more “open” immigration, build some gates.
This way, when the U.S. needs more immigrants to help augment the U.S. workforce, those gates can be opened as needed. More importantly, though, those immigrants coming into the U.S. will be legal immigrants.
In light of this, President Trump might just want to tell Mexico’s president that is fine for Mexico to keep their damn money.
We can pay for a wall ourselves and still be better off.