HILL: The $19.5 billion merry-go-round at the border 

FILE - Migrants use a raft to cross the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border, Thursday, May 11, 2023, in Brownsville, Texas. An 8-year-old girl from Panama born with heart problems died Wednesday, at a Border Patrol station, in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the busiest corridors for migrant crossings, the second death of a child from Latin America in U.S. government custody in two weeks. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Purely from a cost/benefit analysis angle, what the Biden administration is doing ― and not doing ― at the border doesn’t make any financial sense at all. 

Whether they let every illegal entrant stay in the US or deport them back to their home country, US taxpayers are left holding the bag and paying tens of billions of their tax dollars each year, much of which is supporting a very expensive, and many times a very inhumane, merry-go-round. 

People who cross the border are detained and processed by Homeland Security border patrol agents ― which costs a lot of money.  The total annual cost for US border patrol personnel and operations is over $5 billion, up from $263 million in 1990. 

Six million people have crossed the southern border illegally since Joe Biden became president. His reasons have never been fully explained in a coherent manner ― which is not unusual for this president and his entire cabinet to be honest. 

We have experienced a massive surge of illegal immigrants before. President George W. Bush essentially turned a blind eye to the flood of immigrants from 2002 to 2008 ostensibly bowing to agriculture and construction interests who wanted more low-wage workers to pick produce and build buildings. 

Maybe President Biden is trying to out-do Bush 43. 

However, not every illegal immigrant is allowed to stay in America forever. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security are actually deporting millions of them ― as they are supposed to do. 

According to the Yearbook on Immigration Statistics, over 1.3 million illegals who crossed the border previously were returned to their home country in 2021. God only knows when some of them entered the US but at least in Biden’s first year in office, Homeland Security personnel were allowed to do their jobs. 

89,191 noncitizens were confirmed removed from the US based on a government-issued order of removal.  178,227 people returned to their home of origin on their own volition.  1,071,074 people were expelled based on public health grounds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic under US Code Title 42 which was recently rescinded. 

The process to deport each immigrant costs at least $13,000 in taxpayer money if they are denied permanent status in the US. It costs another $2000 to transport them back to their home country for a total of over $15,000 per deported person. 

The cost just to deport 1.3 million people in one year alone, 2021, was $19.5 billion. 

The estimate to complete the border wall under President Donald Trump over four years was $18 billion ― total. 

The most complete, modern, up-to-date high-tech physical and virtual border wall could have been built with the same amount of money American taxpayers paid in one year to allow people to enter the country illegally; detain them; process them and send them back home. 

It is a cruel thing on the part of the Biden administration to entice millions of desperate families to risk everything to try to enter the United States. 90% of the people who are deported hail from Mexico, Latin and South America. All of them, people of modest means, paid up to $10,000 of their own meager resources to someone, ethical or not, to help them make the 1,125-mile trek from the Guatemala border to the US border, enduring serious hardship and physical harm along the way. 

How “compassionate” is it to dangle the possibility of asylum in America to such people and then turn around and send them home after they wasted $10,000 and a year of their life? 

None of this includes the cost to the taxpayer for any “got-aways” ― people who enter illegally and never show up for their court date. Various estimates say each illegal costs $65,000 in government assistance during their time in the US. We may never know what the final accumulated cost is to the federal government and state capitals now inundated with immigrants. 

If the Biden administration somehow deports every one of the six million people who have entered the US illegally since he took office, the US taxpayer will spend $90 billion to process and deport all of them. 

What a colossal waste of taxpayer money to have such an inhumane merry-go-round at the border. 

It doesn’t make any sense at all.