Would you let criminals take your home and hurt your family, or would you pay for a front door that locks?
It typically costs roughly $1,500-$2,000 to purchase and install a no-frills exterior door on your home. Not cheap at all. But would you agonize over the cost for a minute when the entire cost and safety of your whole home and its occupants are on the line, especially when dangerous criminals, burglars, and murderers are specifically targeting your neighborhood for infiltration?
Well, elected officials are like the head of this household, America is our house, and our southern border is our exterior front door. But almost all leaders in both parties are unanimous that it’s more important to spend money on the front doors of states in the Middle East rather than our own to prevent, among others, Middle Eastern terrorists from coming here. These are people who have already funded the other seven governmental departments at record levels, yet they can’t find $25 billion or even $5 billion for a national front door.
To illustrate the warped priorities of the elites, one cowardly Republican senator gave the following anonymous quote to Politico, “Syria is crumbling. And we’re talking about a f&^king wall.”
The sad fact is that, putting aside the merits of our Middle East policies, if you believe we need security in the Middle East, then by a factor of 10,000 you should be clamoring for it on our own border.
Illegal immigration: the needless and expensive unfunded liability on Americans
Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the Border Patrol is averaging 2,100 apprehensions per day so far this fiscal year. That is an annualized rate of 766,500 illegals. Those are just the ones we catch. How many are allowed to come in undetected as a result of the agents being tied up with family units? While there is no definitive number, the best estimate the government has is from a 2016 Institute for Defense Analysis report prepared for the DHS. If you look at the last time annual apprehensions reached over 700,000, our apprehension rate was only 40 percent, which would put us at a projected flow of 1.7 million per year. Now, it’s very likely that with the new era of lawfare and illegals surrendering themselves to agents on purpose, a higher share of the illegal crossers are being “apprehended,” but let’s just say the total border flow is slated for one million this year.
Can you imagine the fiscal, social, and security cost of one million individuals from the most impoverished countries being smuggled over by the most violent drug cartels? Suddenly, the two thousand soldiers in Syria doesn’t seem like such a big deal, does it?
According to Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, the lifetime cost of an illegal alien is $74,722. If the descendants of these illegal immigrants are factored into the equation, the cost increases to $94,391 per illegal alien. And if different methodologies are used to calculate the lifetime fiscal cost (not using net present value), the cost could be as high as $140,000-$150,000 per illegal, according to Camarota.
At one million illegal aliens every year, that is a cost of between $74 and $150 billion every year just for that year’s flow of illegal immigrants. And no, there are not only 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. When prompted by Steve King at the judiciary hearing, Nielsen admitted that there definitely are somewhere between 12 and 22 million, “higher than originally estimated.”
The cost of illegal immigration is so unconscionable that the media makes sure we never have the data and anecdotes that will force such a conversation. Now, with the fight over funding a border wall, is the time for that conversation.
Moreover, aside from preventing the cost of illegal immigration, by focusing our investment in border enforcement specifically on a border wall, which is an upfront non-reccurring cost for something that actually works, we will save billions in extra funding for the many other assets that have failed to secure the border. Just over the past decade, we have spent over $100 billion on different methods of security, but to no avail — all to avoid the $25 billion cost of building a security barrier. Then there is the crushing cost of detention and housing. Even before the flow of family units, according to the Washington Times, HHS paid over $1.4 billion last year to care for nearly 41,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) in its facilities, who stayed 41 days on average, costing taxpayers about $670 per day for each child.
In fact, by not building a wall, simply hiring more border agents is actually counterproductive. The more border agents we have without a wall, the more the agents are used by the cartels in a tactical game of migration football, as one agent described to me, so they can bring in their drugs without detection.
The human toll of not having a national front door
And speaking of the cost of drugs, how do you put a price on the tens of thousands of people dying of drugs every single year? An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers last year found that the overall cost of the crisis to the U.S. economy in 2015 was over $500 billion. Where does it come from? All of the heroin and methamphetamine, most of the cocaine, and most of the fentanyl come in through the Mexican border.
Then there is the crime. As I wrote last week, the number of ICE apprehensions of criminal aliens just for one year is mind-boggling, given that most illegals live in sanctuaries where ICE has limited access to arrest them:
As Secretary Nielsen said last week, there are one million criminal aliens in this country with orders of removal. Those are just the ones we caught and who have final orders of removal without some liberal judge overturning them.
Remember, these are recurring costs, crimes, and deaths, every single year, while the cost of the border wall is mainly up front.
While the media now reports on every single death of a migrant at the hands of the cartels and parents while blaming them on the Border Patrol, it fails to report on the appalling number of Americans killed every year because of our senseless border policies. ICE apprehends criminal aliens collectively responsible for 1,600-2,000 murders every single year. This past year, it was 2,028. Just last week, a 51-year-old Californian, Rocky Paul Jones, was killed by Gustavo Garcia, an illegal alien who had already been deported, after the local sheriff was forced to ignore an ICE detainer, according to Breitbart. Thanks to a lack of a border wall, he was able to come back again, and thanks to California’s sanctuary problems, Garcia was never turned over to ICE. Therefore, Jones never got to spend another Christmas with his family.
What about all that violence in Chicago? Believe it or not, the most wanted criminal responsible for gang violence in the city is not a domestic criminal. It’s El Mencho, the head of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which is every bit as violent as ISIS, is flooding our country with migrants, gangs, and drugs, and is possibly responsible for an attempted attack on our consulate in Guadalajara. Except unlike fighters in Syria, these people are on our border and have agents in our major cities.
We haven’t even delved into the diseases, cultural problems, strain on our schools, and the flow of Middle Easterners coming in through Central America.
Lack of sovereignty is the greatest shutdown of the federal government
At its core, we have a federal government to protect Americans from external threats while states and local governments take care of internal affairs. We have 50 state governments, over 3,000 county governments, and a total of roughly 90,000 local and municipal governments in this country. Why do we need a federal government if not to protect us from external threats? If the federal government refuses to take care of us and illegal aliens get to suck us dry with welfare, catch-and-release, sanctuaries, birthright citizenship, and being counted in our own reapportionment, then why even have a federal government at all? Moreover, if the onetime $25 billion cost of the border wall will trump the hundreds of billions of annual costs from illegal aliens, then what is the point of passing a federal budget at all?
Behold the difference between the nation-state shutdown and today’s so-called federal shutdown. Remember, 70 percent of government is mandatory spending and not subject to appropriations, while 75 percent of the remaining 30 percent of discretionary spending, including the military and Veterans’ Affairs, is already funded for the remainder of this fiscal year. For that matter, even the Department of Education is funded. To that end, today, the nonessential portion of 25 percent of the 30 percent of the government that is discretionary, yet not fully funded through September, is shut down. Americans would take that any day of the week over the shutdown of our nation-state at the hands of illegal invaders and drug cartels.
The most important decision a society will ever make is whom to admit as a permanent member of that society, which in turn will affect every other policy decision. As such, that decision must be kept at arm’s length by the existing citizenry through their elected representatives. When people enter or remain in a country against the national will, it is a violation of sovereignty and governance by the consent of the governed, and it reflects a failure of the social contract between the citizenry and its government. It also costs a heck of a lot more than a border wall, much like losing all your possessions is much more expensive than paying for a front door.
At this point, the only main departments that are not funded are Homeland Security and Justice. But if those agencies will not be permitted to protect our justice and homeland from invaders, let’s shutter the doors indefinitely. Why else have a federal government?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.