Study: Trump’s Border Wall Could Pay for Itself by Cutting Welfare to Illegal Immigrants

President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could pay for itself, one new study has suggested.

According to research from the Center for Immigration Studies, the $18 million barrier would cover its own cost by curbing the importation of crime, drugs, and illegal immigrants who often end up receiving federal welfare monies.

Steven A. Camarota, the director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the New York Post the wall would pay for itself “even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling.”

The Department of Homeland Security forecasts some 1.7 million illegal immigrants crossing over the next decade. If the wall stopped just 50 percent of those, Camarota said, taxpayers would save $64 billion, which is nearly four times the perimeter’s cost.

While many illegal immigrants aren’t receiving welfare benefits directly, a lot are indirectly taking home benefits afforded to their American-born children.

“There is simply no question that households headed by illegal immigrants access a good deal of welfare,” Camarota said. “In fact, illegal immigrants’ use of some programs is quite high.”

On Monday morning, Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News that the southern barrier “will cut down on how much the taxpayer burden will be, which then will go straight into funding the wall.”

“It’s a brilliant way to go about it,” he said. “And that’s the business strategy that President Trump brings to the American people.”