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.