I learned today that the federal project to build a high-tech fence along the border between Mexico and the USA was cancelled because it is too expensive, after spending $1 billion for 53 miles of existing fence. So I did some calculations:
Price per mile of fence = $19 million (rounded to nearer million)
Total length of border = 1,969 miles
Cost to fence entire border = $37 trillion
As I recall, the original plan was not to fence the entire border, so let’s use a shorter length: Cost for 200 miles of fence = $3.8 billion
Is it any wonder that this project was cancelled? Is there anyone wondering why this project was even approved?
And this is not the only example of what I call anti-immigration hysteria.
Recall the now reborn demand to deport all illegal aliens.
Estimated number of illegal aliens in the U.S. = 11 to 12 million
Cost to deport illegal aliens:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a budget of $5.7 billion, the most funding it has ever had, and it has the capacity to deport about 390,000 people a year, or less than 4 percent of the people who are in the U.S. illegally. A rough estimate of the cost of deporting 11 million people would require a budget on the order of $80 billion, said a senior administration official familiar with the ICE budget. azcentral.com Oct 29, 2010
And I am just looking at the economics, not the political and social implications of implementing both the project and the proposal. Where is the sanity in the immigration debate?