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Shocking $150 Billion Deportation Price Tag

Shocking $150 Billion Deportation Price Tag

Jun 10, 2024

Shocking $150 Billion Deportation Price Tag

The hotly debated topic of deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States has been scrutinized for its financial feasibility and implications. Left-libertarian magazine Reason has sparked a discussion by referencing cost estimates that average around $150 billion, or $14,000 per individual, with sources spanning the ideological spectrum from the left-wing Center for American Progress to the pro-deportation Center for Immigration Studies. The estimated cost starkly contrasts with the much-debated border wall, which was projected at a tenth of the deportation expense, thus underscoring the adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

House Budget Committee

Penn Wharton, leaning further left, posits an even more substantial figure of $400 billion, a number that controversially incorporates the wages earned by migrants. The critique here lies in the fact that these wages are not a direct taxpayer burden but are instead utilized for personal expenses or sent abroad as remittances. More significantly, the argument for deportation includes the economic benefits of job creation for Americans, exemplified through a hypothetical scenario where a domestic worker replaces an undocumented migrant, thereby transitioning from welfare dependence to gainful employment.

The Center for Immigration Studies calculates the lifetime fiscal drain of undocumented immigrants on taxpayers at approximately $68,000 per person. When juxtaposed with the cost of deportation, the analysis suggests that not deporting incurs a cost seven times higher than the act itself, amounting to an inflation-adjusted $986 billion. This is attributed to the fact that 70% of undocumented immigrants possess no education beyond high school and are significant beneficiaries of welfare programs, with 59% of households headed by undocumented immigrants utilizing at least one major welfare program.

The debate extends beyond fiscal aspects, touching on societal impacts, such as crime rates and political influence. Detractors suggest that the influx of undocumented immigrants, primarily favoring left-wing policies, could substantially alter the political landscape, as exemplified by the shift in California's governance.

As illegal immigration ascends to the forefront of voter concerns, alongside the economy, inflation, and jobs, a potential Trump victory in the upcoming election has seemingly intensified the media narrative against deportation. The contrasting experiences of the elite, who may benefit from affordable domestic help, and voters witnessing the strains on public services inform a diverging perspective on the issue. In light of these challenges, the $150 billion figure is posited as a reasonable expenditure to address the myriad social and economic complexities attendant to America's undocumented population.


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