One of President Donald Trump’s most polarizing campaign promises involves his proposed border wall separating the U.S. from Mexico.
For Trump supporters, it’s a symbol of hope for actually enforcing immigration laws. It’s a hope for actual secured borders, a requirement for any sovereign nation.
For Trump detractors, the wall represents the very worst of the “racism” and “xenophobia” they often accuse the Trump administration of exhibiting.
And when they’re not hurling insults, Trump detractors like to claim that it’s pointless, ineffective and far too expensive.
Pointlessness and ineffectiveness are impossible to quantify until the wall is actually built.
But the cost of it all? The anti-wall crowd have a point there. It’s going to be an expensive wall. Too expensive, some may even say. Hey look, the anti-Trump crowd got something right!
Only, they might not be that right according to a study from the Center for Immigration Studies.
The wall will still be expensive by any metric. It’s one of the many reasons Trump has had to fight so hard to secure funding for the project.
Congress has already tentatively earmarked $1.6 billion for the wall. It won’t be enough, as Trump had previously requested $25 billion. Trump has even go so far as to threaten a government shutdown if he doesn’t procure the necessary funding.
But that $1.6 billion figure is the important factor here. That is a full $800 million less than what the CIS discovered to be the cost of illegal immigrants birthing babies in America in one year.
According to the CIS study, illegal immigrants had 297,000 children on American soil in 2014. The total cost of those illegal immigrants having children? A whopping $2.4 billion.
If Trump’s wall can even just cut that figure in half, that’s literally over a billion dollars in undue economic strain that can be saved.
“The public cost of delivery or post-partum care is paid for by Medicaid under the ‘pregnancy care’ provision administered by the states. Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income, though some mothers without insurance may not even realize the program has paid health care providers. Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months,” the CIS study notes.
The CIS study admits that there are numerous factors that could skew the results, such as illegal immigrant births that are under-reported and inexact reporting of just how many illegal immigrants there are in the country.
But even allowing for those variables, two conclusions emerge from the CIS study.
First and foremost, even at birth, illegal immigrants’ children are extremely expensive. It’s costing the American taxpayer billions of dollars.
The other truth is that a wall could help curtail those expenses.
If the wall can actually help save money and secure our borders, there’s no reason for it not to be built.