border patrol watches for illegal crossing tijuana A Border Patrol vehicle sits along the border fence separating San Diego and Tijuana in March 2016. (Donna Burton/Customs and Border Protection)

Economists Find High Cost and Low Benefit to Border Fence for US Workers

From 2007 to 2010, the United States built an additional 548 miles of fencing across the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence came at a high cost to American taxpayers and only minimally reduced unauthorized Mexican migration, according to new research by economists at Stanford and Dartmouth.

The new working paper – co-authored by Stanford economist Melanie Morten, Stanford doctoral candidate Cauê Dobbin and Dartmouth economist Treb Allen – examines the effects of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which added 548 miles of border fence between the two countries. At a cost of $2.3 billion, the expansion raised total fencing to 658 miles, one-third of the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Morten and her collaborators embarked on the study in the summer of 2016 after seeing a need for more empirical evidence on the effects of the border wall amid ongoing debates over immigration.

Read the full report at Stanford University

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