This weekend, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced an immigration plan that calls for, among other things, the deportation of all illegal immigrants in the country.
The plan didn’t specify how it would be paid for.
Monday, NBC News published an article estimating how much it would cost to deport all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
The cost is staggering.
Back in 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deputy director Kumar Kibble said it costs $12,500 to deport an individual undocumented immigrant.
So when you multiply that cost for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., that comes to $137.5 billion.
Another estimate from the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress — from back in 2010 — put the overall price tag at $200 billion. That estimate included the cost to arrest, detain, process and transport the undocumented population over a five-year period.
Just for perspective, the United States government spends $25 billion a year on federal law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security spends $20 billion a year on current immigration enforcement.
If anything, the costs are an underestimate. Trump’s plan also calls for the deportation of the children of illegal immigrants, even if they are U.S. citizens. It would hire at least 10,000 new federal workers whose salaries and benefits have to paid for by taxpayers.
The plan also doesn’t take into account the humanitarian costs of uprooting people who, in many cases, have been in the country for decades. Nor does it account for the costs of deporting people who were brought here as children, the so-called Dreamers, and have no memory of their home countries.