Donald Trump’s tweets about US cost of illegal immigration

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The US government shutdown may have been halted temporarily, but Donald Trump is clearly still reeling that he didn’t manage to pressure Democrats into granting funding for his border wall.

After nearly 35 days without a fully functioning government, on Saturday Trump announced a deal to reopen the federal government for three weeks.

The deal leaves negotiations over Mr Trump’s requested $5.7bn to build a wall on the southwest US border for another day.

A day after the announcement, trump tweeted that illegal immigration has cost the US more than $18bn so far in 2019.

But Trump failed to mention that his decision to trigger the longest government shutdown in US history over the border wall cost an estimated $6bn. And building the wall will cost an extra $5.7bn.

Estimates on the net costs of illegal immigration vary, but most are a fraction of Trump’s number.

For example a 2013 report from the conservative Heritage Foundation estimated that illegal immigrant households impose a fiscal burden of about $54.5bn per year.

By Trump’s estimates based on his recent tweet, illegal immigration would cost the country over $243bn over the course of a year if it had already cost $18bn so far in 2019.

Trump has also repeatedly contradicted his own estimates, claiming two weeks ago that the net cost of illegal immigration was $250bn.

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