U.S. taxpayers will fork over $12 billion for border security this year. That’s the cost of room and board for 250,000 college students, 4 million iPads, 300 million frozen meals, 13 major sports teams and franchises, Shell’s debt on Iranian oil, a B-2 bomber, and the cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Why is protecting the perimeter so pricey?
Illegal immigration affects the safety, security, and welfare of the United States and its citizens. Backers of beefy border spending contend that illegals gobble up American jobs, flood American streets with drugs, and take violent crime to another level. Others believe that illegal immigrants do more good than harm through their low-cost labor, consumption of goods and services, and tax contributions.
But where do those billions go?
In 2012, the U.S. patrolled 5,000 miles of the Canadian border and 1,900 of the Mexican border, processed 350 million travelers and 30.04 million trade entries, seized 23,000 violations of intellectual property rights, $1.2 billion in counterfeit goods and 4.2 million pounds of narcotics, and apprehended 365,000 undocumented immigrants.
About 70 percent of the $12 billion is spent on inspections and trade facilitation at or between ports of entry and administration, with 14 percent going to mandatory fees. Is the investment worth the return? U.S. Customs and Border Protection believes so. Officials say that as a result of increased enforcement, fewer people are attempting to illegally cross the border.
Taxpayers may disagree.
Source: Global Knowledge