Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial policy for immigration reform could cost the US government between as $166-500 billion to implement.
The right-leaning American Action Forum, in a quote cited by the Washington Post, says it would "take about 20 years and cost about $500 billion for all the police, judges, lawyers, enforcement agents and bus drivers needed to expel 11 million people".
In his immigration policy document, published on his campaign website last weekend, the billionaire and GOP candidate front-runner, outlined an aggressive stance targeting immigrants to the US that included mass deportation, mandatory detention, a new visa-tracking system, a national e-verify system for employers, tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and the now infamous building of a wall along the US’s southern border with Mexico.
Politico revealed, however, that the implementation of this policy could cost the US taxpayer at least $166 billion if Trump follows through.
Trump’s tough stance on immigration has become a cornerstone of his presidential campaign and is regarded as one of the reasons for the current GOP frontrunner’s success in the preliminary stages of the campaign.
With his hardline policy Trump claims that he will lower the level of unemployment stating: “The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans.”
Politico revealed, however, that it may also have negative effects on the economy.
Despite Trump’s claims that he will place the cost of building a wall at the feet of the Mexican government, even if they did foot the bill (which they have already announced they won’t), all other aspects of Trump’s plan come with a high price tag.
Politico worked in collaboration with some of the country’s expert immigration groups (the National Immigration Forum, the Center for American Progress, the Migration Policy Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Action Forum) to add up exactly how much his policies would cost the American public.
The analysis revealed that all of the Presidential wannabe’s policy points were going to cost the government at least a few billion dollars each to implement, never mind maintain. His plan for mass deportation alone would cost almost $150 billion.
Politico reports that the deportation of just one immigrant from the US could cost as much as $12,500. There are currently believed to be as many as 11.3 million undocumented in the US, which would mean a total cost of $141.3 billion to deport them all.
In order to deal with the deportation of more than 11 million people, Trump plans to triple to number of ICE officers. The federal government currently spend $2.79 billion for detention and removal services carried out by these officers, bringing the total under Trump’s regime up to $8.4 billion.
Here’s the complete round-up of the implementation costs:
- Mass deportation: $141.3 billion
- ICE officers: $8.4 billion per year
- Wall along the southern border: At least $5.1 billion, plus annual maintenance
- Nationwide E-Verify system: $2.15 billion
- Visa-tracking system: $7 billion
- Mandatory detention: $1.7 billion per year
Politico claims that these figures also don’t take into consideration the possible detrimental effects that such a hardline policy on immigration may have on the US economy because of the change in the workforce. They claim that such as major reduction in immigration to the US would “diminish the labor pool and ultimately hurt the economy.”
Is this too high a price to pay for immigration reform? Are there better ways to tackle the issue of illegal immigration to the US? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.