Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
There are over 12,000 American military personnel stationed in Italy. It’s a larger active-duty military presence than Afghanistan. We maintain seven bases in Italy at a cost of billions of dollars.
But as President Trump dispatched a mere 5,000 troops, the first wave of a reported 15,000, to secure the border against the migrant caravan invasion, the media threw a tantrum over the cost.
The Washington Post warned darkly that the deployment could cost as much as… $200 million. That would be more impressive if our annual defense budget weren’t hovering around $600 billion.
And those are only the parts that we know about.
To put that into perspective, President Trump has proposed that we spend 0.03% of our military budget on the core mission of the military, protecting our own borders from an invasion. It’s as if he had suggested that we spend at least 0.03% of NASA’s budget on space exploration, instead of global warming and Muslim self-esteem, or 0.03% of the Department of Education’s budget on education instead of on closely monitoring the sexual habits and Halloween costumes of college students.
Deploying soldiers abroad is far more expensive than deploying them at home. And it’s a lot cheaper to stop drug dealers, gang members and terrorists at the border than it is inside the country.
What does $200 million buy us when it comes to national defense?
$200 million is being spent on special glasses and goggles for pilots to protect their eyes from laser devices fired into cockpits. We spend around $260 million on military bands. The military ad budget is in the high hundreds of millions of dollars.
We’re spending $200 million on military aid to Ukraine. If we can spend that much money to help the Ukrainians keep the Russians away, perhaps we can spend some that money to keep gang members and drug dealers out of our own backyard. The Russians are a menace, but they won’t be chopping up our children with machetes tomorrow. The MS-13 thugs riding along in that caravan just might.
If the media really has a problem with that, let its talking heads pretend that the caravan is Russian.
Every dollar we spend on border security is a fortune we don’t have to spend on police officers, surveillance cameras, insurance, ER visits, prisons, funerals and the larger sense of insecurity.
Let’s put that $200 million into its proper perspective.
An audit this year found that the Defense Logistics Agency couldn’t account for $800 million in construction projects.
The money that President Trump may end up spending to protect our border from an invasion could fit four times over into a government accounting error.
None of this is to suggest that the work the military does at home and abroad isn’t vitally important. We should be protecting our pilots; military bands serve a vital purpose and so does our presence in Italy.
But if we don’t have a country, then it doesn’t matter how good our military bands are.
If there’s no United States of America, then why bother having seven bases in Italy? Why does the political establishment expect taxpayers to spend a fortune on geopolitics, but not on the home-front?
The purpose of the United States military is not to protect Italy, it’s to protect America. We built bases and stationed forces across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America for our own needs.
If we can’t use our own soldiers to protect our own country, what is the whole thing for?
While the media is notoriously parsimonious with the military budget, Obama’s presidential center will cost taxpayers $199 million. Throw in another million and that’s the cost of keeping more gang members from reaching Chicago and boosting the summer weekend death toll from 39 to 43.
Will the youth of Chicago benefit more from another museum no one visits (the Windy City already has more museums that no one visits than any other city in the country) or staying alive not to visit them?
Obama’s Africa trip costs were estimated in the neighborhood of $100 million. His corrupt Solyndra deal cost taxpayers over $500 million. His illegal cash shipments to Iranian terrorists alone could have paid for the latest border deployment eight times over. The media would rather we send billions to the Islamic terrorists murdering American soldiers than spend a fraction of that to send soldiers to the border.
But forgot how much money we’re spending to stop the illegal caravan invasion. Let’s look at how much we’re saving.
A new Center for Immigration Studies report estimates that we’re spending $4 billion a year on illegal alien births alone.
FAIR estimated that taxpayers are spending $134 billion a year on illegal aliens. That’s around $8,000 per illegal alien. The annual cost of the 7,000, mostly male, migrants would be $56 million in one year.
If the military deployment stops the caravan, then it will have paid for itself in 4 years. If we fail to stop the migrant caravan, we will lose more than double that $200 million by 2026.
And that 7,000 is just a drop in the bucket. There are 12,000 migrants in Mexico. And more are coming every day. If we can deter these invaders, we will have sent a message that will save lives and billions.
Detaining an illegal migrant invader costs between $100 to $200 a day. This is expensive, but far less than the cost of a single murder, drunk driving accident or assorted forms of illegal migrant crime.
If the illegal migrant invaders make it into this country, detaining them will cost us $700,000 a day. In a month, the average length of time an illegal alien is detained, that will balloon to $21 million.
In under a year, the cost would surpass that $200 million that the media is bellyaching about.
Of course they won’t be held that long.
Budget and capacity strains would force their release. That’s already happened again and again.
It’s how a key World Trade Center bomber ended up on the streets. It’s how countless MS-13 gang members and other criminals have flooded our cities.
That original World Trade Center bombing back in 1993 may have cost as much as $1.1 billion. (Not accounting for inflation.) If you think immigration enforcement is expensive, just wait until a skyscraper gets bombed.
Between 2011 and 2018, a quarter of a million aliens were booked into Texas jails. Think about the cost of every single one of those inmates. The cost of the 1,351 murders, 7,156 sexual assaults and 815 kidnappings they committed in just one state. Then think about the human cost of all those horrors.
We spend hundreds of billions of dollars protecting the rest of the world. The least we can do is spend $200 million, as a down payment on an $18 billion wall, to protect ourselves, our families and our future.
If the media thinks the cost of deploying the military to the border is expensive, imagine the cost of deploying it in our cities.
Many of the countries that the migrants are arriving from use the military for domestic law enforcement. They are forced to do it because their brand of organized crime is so lethal that they have no other choice. Now those same gangs and crime families are flooding across our border.
If Texas and California go the way of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, we will have no other choice.
Opponents of border security have put their partisan political interests ahead of America’s national security, its stability and its survival. Americans are being murdered every day by the gang members they have allowed into this country in order to expand their districts and build up their political power.
Is $200 billion too much?
Chicago’s police budget is approaching $1.5 billion. So is the police budget in Los Angeles. New York passed $5 billion a while back.
That $200 million border deployment? It wouldn’t buy you the cost of a month of policing in New York.
If you think immigration enforcement is expensive, try not enforcing it. Chicago, Los Angeles and New York have.