Image: If you set this banquet table right on the Texas side of the border with Mexico, don’t you think people will cross illegally to get to the food?
Editorial, Eric Yollick, Editor-in-Chief, The Golden Hammer
The reaction by some readers to yesterday’s article about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s to spend $250 million as a “downpayment” on a Texas-Mexico border wall fascinated many people. “How can you oppose construction of a border wall?”, many asked when this newspaper appeared critical of the approximately $25 million per mile price tag, which means that Abbott’s entire border wall will consist of approximately 10 miles along the 1,254 Texas-Mexico border.
One reader challenged this newspaper, “At least he is doing something! What are you doing about it? Have you raised any money for it? If someone doesn’t at least start, how will you get the support?”
The problem with that approach, however, is that when government takes action, it usually does a bad job of it. Spending between $25 million to $41 million per mile to build a border wall is no exception, despite the desire of the vast majority of Americans to keep illegal aliens, drug cartels, and kidnappers out of the United States.
How could we keep illegal aliens out of the United States, if we don’t build a border wall? The answer lies in the analogy of the photograph at the top of this editorial. If you set up a gigantic banquet table of free food on the American side of the Texas-Mexico border, it’s basic human nature that people will cross the border illegally to receive the free food enticing them across the line.
That gigantic banquet table is precisely what we’ve established. We give illegal aliens free public educations, free health care, food stamps, and, often tax-free employment.
A 2020 study by José Iván Rodríguez-Sánchez, Ph.D., a Research Fellow in International Trade at Rice University’s Bake Institute concluded that, in Texas alone, illegal aliens receive the following for free:
- 158,000 illegal alien children receive free public educations, which the Texas Education Agency estimates costs $9,374 per pupil per year, for a total of $1.481 Billion per year;
- Emergency Medicaid for illegal aliens of approximately $95.8 million per year;
- $5.7 million for illegal aliens in additional public health services;
- $374.2 million for incarceration of illegal aliens in Texas prisons; and
- Food stamps in an unknown amount.
In total, the State of Texas alone provide free government services to illegal aliens of at least $2 Billion per year, without including untaxed income they receive.
That is the banquet table luring illegal aliens across the Texas-Mexico border. Whether it’s through legislation, Constitutional Amendment (to overrule the United States Supreme Court’s 1982 decision requiring free public educations for children of illegal aliens), or enforcement of existing criminal and immigration laws, it’s time for America to make “El Norte” a much less desirable place for illegal aliens. That will be the true border wall, which won’t break the backs of taxpayers.