Drugs, illegal immigration cost a lot more than border wall

Drugs, illegal immigration cost a lot more than border wall
January 07 18:46 2018 Print This Article

Building a border wall between the United States and Mexico has been a priority for President Donald Trump even before he announced his candidacy in June 2015.  Opponents in both political parties like to point to the high cost of the border wall.  The  Department of Homeland Security has assessed that 700 miles of physical barriers are needed to secure the border, at a cost of $1.8 Billion per year over 10 years.  With an annual budget of $4.1 Trillion, it seems like the wall can be fitted in.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration costs American taxpayers a net of $116 Billion a year.  The federal government spends $46 Billion on illegals, mostly in medical care, prisons and welfare payments.  State and local governments spend $89 Billion on illegals, with dependent education, medical care and law enforcement expenditures topping the list.  Illegal aliens are believed to pay about $19 Billion a year in federal, state and local taxes, leaving the legal resident taxpayers at a $116 Billion annual deficit.  See the FAIR study.  Illegal drug trafficking is believed to cost American taxpayers another $100 Billion per year.

President Trump recently met with a group of six Senators to discuss his immigration and border security plans.  He told them, “We need a physical border wall.  We’re going to have a wall – remember that.  We’re going to have a wall to keep out deadly drug dealers, dangerous (human) traffickers, and violent cartels.”

Among Trump’s immigration reform priorities are ending the visa lottery program and chain migration and requiring E-verify for all employees.  He told the Senators, “Our current immigration system fails Americans.  Chain migration (in which relatives of immigrants are automatically granted visas) is a total disaster which threatens our security and economy and provides a gateway for terrorism.”  A recent terrorist attack in New York was committed by someone who was granted entry into America through chain migration.

Immigration policy figures into the negotiations for an agreement to extend the budget continuing resolution to September 30, the end of fiscal year 2018.  While Trump wants his immigration priorities inserted into the budget deal, the Democrats want to extend the legal status for the estimated 800,000 to 3.5 Million people who entered the country through President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which prevented illegal aliens who entered the country at age 16 or younger from Central America from being deported.  The budget resolution deadline is Friday, January 19.  By Senate rules, it takes 60 Senators to agree to vote on the budget resolution, so without the support of all 51 Republican Senators and at least 9 Democrats, the budget will not be extended, triggering a partial government shutdown.  Under those terms, payments would go out to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid recipients and all national security functions would be fully funded, but non-essential government services would be suspended until an agreement can be reached.