Why Democrat Leaders Oppose Border Controls, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of opposition to funding the southern border wall

Arguments about the cost of the wall fail to make economic sense; cost-savings from reducing the number of illegal entries far exceeds any expenses incurred in construction. Steven Camarota describes the financial outline in a Center for Immigration Studies report:

“The findings of this analysis show that if a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall. Among the findings:

  • There is agreement among researchers that illegal immigrants overwhelmingly have modest levels of education — most have not completed high school or have only a high school education.
  • There is also agreement that immigrants who come to America with modest levels of education create significantly more in costs for government than they pay in taxes.
  • A recent NAS study estimated the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants by education. Averaging the cost estimates from that study and combining them with the education levels of illegal border-crossers shows a net fiscal drain of $74,722 per illegal crosser.2
  • The above figures are only for the original illegal immigrants and do not include any costs for their U.S.-born descendants. If we use the NAS projections that include the descendants, the fiscal drain for border-crossers grows to $94,391 each.
  • If a border wall prevented 160,000 to 200,000 illegal crossings (excluding descendants) in the next 10 years it would be enough to pay for the estimated $12 to $15 billion costs of the wall.
  • Newly released research by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) done for the Department of Homeland Security indicates that 170,000 illegal immigrants crossed the border successfully without going through a port of entry in 2015.3 While a significant decline in crossings from a decade ago, it still means that there may be 1.7 million successful crossings in the next decade. If a wall stopped just 9 to 12 percent of these crossings it would pay for itself.
  • If a wall stopped half of those expected to successfully enter illegally without going through a port of entry at the southern border over the next 10 years, it would save taxpayers nearly $64 billion — several times the wall’s cost.”

The answer to the puzzling opposition to border enforcement by Democrat leaders is found at the ballot box.  As the New York Analysis of Policy and Government has previously noted, What may seem, at first impression, to be a position counter to the Democrats own key interests comes into focus when seen through the prism of politics on a national scale.

Governing magazine points out that “Democrats went into this (2016)election controlling the governorship, Senate and House in just seven states — that was their lowest number since the Civil War, when there were 15 fewer states. Now, they control just five states.”

National Review  study concurs.“President Obama’s recent executive orders granting provisional legal status to an estimated 5 million illegal aliens will likely allow an indeterminate number of them to cast ballots in elections across the United States — and it’s hard to see how it won’t affect the outcome of some number of close elections. Amnestied illegal aliens are now eligible to receive Social Security numbers and, in many cases, drivers’ licenses. Since the vast majority of states don’t require individuals to present proof of citizenship to either register or vote, and given the Obama administration’s zealous promotion of motor-voter registration and declared refusal to enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (ensuring that only eligible individuals vote), it’s certain that appreciable numbers of amnestied illegal aliens will be able to vote. Furthermore, testimony…before the House Judiciary Committee revealed that under Obama’s amnesty some illegal aliens will receive advance-parole status — a glide path to citizenship and full voting rights…”

Voting in their own interests, unlawful immigrants who eventually vote, legally or otherwise, will overwhelmingly support Democrats. That is the primary reason for the opposition by Democrat party leaders to reasonable border control.