A wall built along the southern border with Mexico will pay for itself by reducing the amount of welfare received by illegal immigrant households, according to a report in the New York Post.
The Post cited recent studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which said that if an $18 billion wall prevented only a modest 200,000 of the estimated 1.7 million illegal crossings expected on the Mexican border in the next decade if a proper barrier is not erected, then the structure would pay for itself through fiscal savings from welfare, public education, and tax refunds given to illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
The studies insist that such a 12 percent reduction in illegal crossings is not an exaggerated estimate, as federal data shows that a two-story metal fence in El Paso, Texas has already cut down illegal crossings there by more than 89 percent during the five-year period in which it was built.
"When you look at what a wall will do in allowing us to apprehend the vast majority of those individuals that are coming across the border, it will cut down on how much the taxpayer burden will be, which then will go straight into funding the wall," National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told Fox News.
The Center for Immigration Studies director of research Steven Camarota explained to the Post that the average Latino illegal immigrant, which makes up about 75 percent of illegals in the U.S., pays relatively little in taxes due to the low wages he earns but at the same time benefits from public services.
This is especially so if they have children while in the U.S., because they more often than not receive welfare benefits on behalf of those American-born children, who have the same welfare eligibility as any other citizen.
Camarota estimated that illegal border-crossers create an average fiscal burden of more than $72,000 during their lifetimes. Including costs for their U.S.-born children, the fiscal drain jumps to more than $94,000.
In addition, Camarota contended that while Democrats complain the $18 billion price tag for the wall is too high, the "Dreamers" amnesty bill they want the administration to pass would cost U.S. taxpayers even more than the construction of the border wall over 10 years.
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