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Politico: Trump's Immigration Plan to Cost $166B or More

Politico: Trump's Immigration Plan to Cost $166B or More
Donald Trump during a visit to the border at Laredo, Texas. (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 August 2015 09:13 AM

After Donald Trump released his immigration plan this week, experts have convened to put a price tag on the proposals. They give a conservative estimate of $166 billion.

Politico pulled together experts at groups, including the National Immigration Forum, the Center for American Progress, the Migration Policy Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Action Forum, to come up with the figure.

Trump has called for the mass deportation of the 11.3 million people in the United States who are here illegally. Those costs came to $141.3 billion, based on an estimated price of roughly $12,500 to deport one immigrant. Another estimate puts the rate per person of deportation at $10,070, bringing the total cost slightly lower to $114 billion.

But there are also other enforcement costs, such as those to prevent future illegal immigration. If included, they would bring the total to between $419.6 billion and $619.4 billion.

"Many of these individuals have been here a long time … it's not that easy to identify them," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, told Politico.

"Even if they were easily identifiable, you have to somehow detain them and that requires literally boots on the ground. And you have to process them, and that requires administrative judges and hearings and time … and then you have to deport them."

The plan also calls for the tripling of the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, which would cost $8.4 billion per year.

Trump has said he would offset the cost by revoking tax credits received by illegal immigrants, a policy position that has been pushed by congressional Republicans in the past.

Another $5.1 billion would go to creating the wall along the southern border, despite Trump's insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall, though experts say actual costs are expected to be higher, according to Politico. The upkeep of the fence will likely cost $750 million per year.

The nationwide E-Verify system is estimated to cost $2.5 billion over 10 years. The system allows employers to electronically check whether workers in the country are here legally and was one of the recommendations in the Senate's immigration reform package developed by the "Gang of Eight."

An additional $7 billion would be spent on a visa-tracking program that would increase penalties for those who overstay their visa and introduce a new biometric system to track the exit of foreigners.

"Illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border must be detained until they are sent home, no more catch-and-release," Trump said in his six-page plan.

That, too, could come with a price of roughly $1.7 billion annually, by one estimate.

Pro-immigration experts say the $166 billion will not account for the significant costs to the economy which would see a reduction of the labor pool and hence a slowdown of economic growth.

"In the absence of immigration, we shrink," Holtz-Eakin told Politico. "If you do smart immigration reform, you basically get to pick your future — future labor force, future population. And that's a big economic advantage."

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After Donald Trump released his immigration plan this week, experts have convened to put a price tag on the proposals — a conservative estimate of $166 billion. Politico pulled together experts at groups including the National Immigration Forum, the Center for...
trump, immigration, costs, billions, wall, deport
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2015-13-19
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 09:13 AM
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