So How Much Would It Cost to Deport All Those Illegal Immigrants Anyway?

|

Just stumbled across this 2005 report from the Center for American Progress. "Deporting the Undocumented" puts a price tag on kicking all those illegals out of the country thus:

Using publicly available data, we estimate the costs of a mass deportation effort to be at least $206 billion over five years ($41.2 billion annually), and could be as high as $230 billion or more. Spending $41.2 billion annually would exceed the entire budget of the Department of Homeland Security for FY 2006 ($34.2 billion) and more than double the annual cost of military operations in Afghanistan ($16.8 billion).

Whole thing here.

In its May 25-31 issue, The Onion came up with cheaper ways to prevent illegal immigration, including "fill Rio Grande with sharks, making sure motorcycle ramps are on U.S. side"; "make U.S. jobs less cool and fun"; "place 'Welcome to Canada' signs at Mexican border to confuse illegals into walking south"; and "invent legend of Border Chupacabra, which eats anyone not in possession of valid U.S. passport."

Whole Infographic here.

NEXT: Triumph of the Will

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Its a bit odd that Mexico has been able to find a way to export 10 million at little cost. Looks like an advanced tech society as the US would be able to come up with something.

    Maybe creating a law that would charge Mexico for their upkeep and medical. If Mexico didnt receive their 20 Billion cut from remittance each year they might keep them. Maybe Mexico could trade us 20 Billion in oil for their maintenance.

  2. Wow, $17,000 each! So it’s $1000 for a plane ticket and the rest for cops, lawyers, judges,
    prisons and the like?

  3. …”invent legend of Border Chupacabra, which eats anyone not in possession of valid U.S. passport.”

    Hey, we tried to do that back in the early ’90s, with the ‘California Killer’ meme. Spread the rumor that there was a serial killer who only targeted people with California license plates, to discourage the huge influx from SoCal to the Seattle area.

    Didn’t work very well.

  4. Its a bit odd that Mexico has been able to find a way to export 10 million at little cost.

    See, there’s the efficiency of a free market at work for you, right there. (And proposals for reversing the process are an example of an overbearing bureaucracy — so of course the cost is higher.)

    Never mind the intangible costs, such as a national ID card, further erosions of privacy in financial and employment matters, etc., etc..

    What the anti-immigrants really want you to ignore is the sort of police state that would be necessary to make their fondest dreams of an immigrant-free United States come true.

  5. Let’s not forget to throw in all the presumably higher costs consumers would have to pay for all sorts of goods and services.

    Some people can afford to just do without avocados and things if they go up in price. …but the elderly on fixed incomes, they’ll probably have a tougher time just doing without lawn care. …and God help working mothers–I understand it’s really difficult to find affordable child care as things stand now.

  6. We could send a truck around to pick up anybody who’s a Mexican. We can take them over the border and drop them off. That’s got to cost a fraction of the money. Better yet, we could take them to Cuba and force them to work to repay their debt to the U.S., for all the jarbs, welfare, and water they’ve stolen.

  7. “In its May 25-31 issue, The Onion came up with cheaper ways to prevent illegal immigration, including “fill Rio Grande with sharks, making sure motorcycle ramps are on U.S. side”

    Now that’s just silly. Maneating sharks are salf-water fishes.

    Try piranha.

  8. Okay, somebody check my math here.
    12 Million illegal Immigrants
    $230 Billion (high estimate) to deport them to Mexico.

    Iraq Population = 27 Million or 2.25 times the number of illegal immigrants here.
    Estimated Potential Total Cost of Iraq War = $500 Billion – $1 Trillion.

    Umm, so why don’t we just deport all the Iraqis to someplace else. It’d be just as cheap as the war and probably just as realistic as deporting 12 million immigrants from our shores.

  9. We could deport the Iraqis to Mexico. That would give them a taste of their own medicine!

    I like the way you think, Kwix.

  10. Hey, what’s another $42 billion? And while we’re at it, why don’t we throw in a few more of those motor scooters on Medicare’s tab?

  11. No price is too high to pay in order to free us from the scourge of cheap produce.

  12. I recently had a conversation with a conservative, of all people, who was arguing for deporting all the illegals. I brought up this very point…that doing that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and turn a bunch of peole who love America into the biggest America-haters on the planet.

    He was unfazed. Fuck conservatives.

  13. I think we ought to pass a law that says “If you are here tomorrow, you are American, whether you like it or not.” The only down side is some of them might actually go back to Mexico. Personally, I want everyone that was bold enough to come here to stay.

  14. Let’s start with the low hanging fruit. Simply relabel “The United States” as “Mexico”, and see what chaos ensues.

  15. ‘Bout a hundred dollars.

  16. Okay, somebody check my math here.

    Gee, it looks good to me. Maybe we can deport Iraq to North Korea.

    Of course, if we imposed a $1 million per head fine on Mexico for every illegal that we find (taken out of foreign aid), you might be surprised how fast Mexico was helping us make sure the immigrants came in legally.

    Especially if we made it reasonably easy for them to get here legally.

    OTOH, I’ve suggested an economic solution to Iraq many times before and been told I’m a monster for it. But suppose we told the Iraqis that we’re taking our whole military apparatus and dedicating it to getting oil out of the country. All other uses/purposes be damned. And we’re using the proceeds to pay for the invasion and post invasion operations.

    Just as soon as the Iraqis can manage to put a government together that won’t support terrorists, we give them their oil back and leave. Meanwhile, we publicize just how many dollars we’re making a day off Iraqi oil.

    Then, get the hell out of the Iraqi’s way and let them figure out how to sort their mess out for themselves.

    I bet it wouldn’t take long for somebody to get motivated over there. That’s a lot of dollars.

    Failing that, we’ll have to breed sand sharks to patrol Iraq.

  17. Let’s start with the low hanging fruit. Simply relabel “The United States” as “Mexico”, and see what chaos ensues.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to relabel Mexico as “The 51st State”?

  18. Come on madpad, how bigoted are you! Certainly Guam, the Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Afghanistan, Iraq and Canada should be first in line for 51st state…:-)

  19. Not to get serious or anything, but the CAP study mentioned in the post has been completely discredited. Click my link to find out how.

    For those on the edge of clicking, here’s the bottom line:

    “So how was [CAP’s] highly scientificestimate arrived at? By assuming that the currentrate of workplace enforcementrepresents a best effort by the FederalGovernment. In 2003, they note, a grand total of 445illegal aliens werearrested at worksites in America… the CenterforAmerican Progress takes it as an accuratepredictor of the efficiencyof an earnestfuture effort.”

    Raise your hand if you think this site should actually read studies before linking to them.

  20. Not to get serious or anything, but the CAP study mentioned in the post has been completely discredited. Click my link to find out how.

    For those on the edge of clicking, here’s the bottom line:

    “So how was [CAP’s] highly scientificestimate arrived at? By assuming that the currentrate of workplace enforcementrepresents a best effort by the FederalGovernment. In 2003, they note, a grand total of 445illegal aliens werearrested at worksites in America… the CenterforAmerican Progress takes it as an accuratepredictor of the efficiencyof an earnestfuture effort.”

    Raise your hand if you think this site should actually read studies before linking to them.

  21. Syd:

    Does somebody make laser beam projectors small enough to fit on the heads of piranhas?

    Kevin

  22. Come on madpad, how bigoted are you! Certainly Guam, the Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Afghanistan, Iraq and Canada should be first in line for 51st state…:-)

    I didn’t say we coudn’t have more than 51. Heck…add ’em all. I’m not particular. Might solve some of our problems. Then again, we might wind up with a bunch of federal disaster areas. But since we’re already pouring money into most of these places anyway, maybe it would be worth it to recoup some income tax revenue from the better run places like PR, PI and Guam.

    And planting our flag in ol’ Afghanistan…now wouldn’t that be a hoot.

    But what do I know…I’m just a crank.

  23. Wait a minute, are you saying the largest forced migration in the history of the Western hemisphere would be expensive?

    I’ll bet we could cut that in half if we used undocumented labor.

  24. “Does somebody make laser beam projectors small enough to fit on the heads of piranhas?”

    I think the laser projectors from portable CD players should be small enough. Not much penetration power, however.

  25. Why isn’t Haliburton hiring Mexicans? The revenue from the defense contracts wouldn’t change one bit but their profit would go way up with the reduced labor costs.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.