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.
Absent a wall, the Homeland Security Department forecasts an additional 1.7 million illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border over the next decade.
If a wall stopped just 200,000 of those future crossings, Camarota says, it would pay for itself in fiscal savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
If a wall stopped 50 percent of those expected crossings, he 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.