US taxpayers have paid out more money in healthcare payments to illegal aliens who have given birth on US soil than has been allocated for the construction of US President Donald Trump’s border wall project, a new report that analyzes US Census Bureau data revealed.
According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), women who crossed the border illegally gave birth to 297,000 children in 2014, which led to a total of $2.4 billion in publicly funded healthcare payments.
In the meantime, the funding for Trump’s wall approved by the US Congress for fiscal year 2018 amounted to just $1.6 billion.
The CIS report has come up with a combined figure of $5.3 billion in Medicaid payments to both legal immigrants and illegal aliens, equivalent to one-fifth of the total cost of the wall project.
Technically, illegal aliens are not eligible for Medicaid or welfare services at all. However, in practice, “Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income, though some mothers without insurance may not even realize the program has paid health care providers,” the CIS report reads.
“Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months,” the report adds.
One in five births in the United States was to an immigrant in 2014, CIS says. Data for subsequent years shows little variation.
“Our best estimate is that legal immigrants accounted for 12.4 percent — 494,000 — of all births, and illegal immigrants accounted for 7.5 percent — 297,000,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try to approve $5 billion for the construction of President Trump’s long-promised southern border wall when Congress returns after the Nov. 6 election.
McConnell, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner the Senate won’t stick to the $1.6 billion wall funding included in the Senate’s 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations measure. Instead, it will try to raise the amount to match the House Homeland spending bill, which includes $5 billion for the wall.
“We are going to try really hard to get the money the president would like this year for the border wall,” McConnell said.
In a related development, The Department of Homeland Security announced in the Federal Register that it has given U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) permission to ignore environmental and land regulations so it can speed up the process of building miles of new a barrier in Hidalgo County.
CBP will move forward on six projects in the southern border’s busiest of its nine U.S. Border Patrol sectors, according to details outlined in the announcement. The largest portion of wall construction is 8 miles long and will stretch from near Goodwin and Abraham Roads east to near the International Boundary Water Commission levee.