Skip to content Skip to navigation

We already have a big, beautiful wall

A Mexican flag in Tijuana is seen behind an immigrant rights protester near the U.S.-Mexico border wall in California in April.

Mike Blake/Reuters)

President Trump is once again insisting that Mexico will pay for the “beautiful wall” he wants to build along the country’s border with the United States. On Jan. 18, he tweeted: “The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico.”

Trump’s assertion that Mexico should pay for the wall stems from the incorrect but widespread belief that Mexicans are pouring into the United States. However, since the end of the Great Recession, more Mexican migrants have actually returned to Mexico from the United States than have entered it. According to the Pew Research Center, from 2009 to 2014, approximately 1 million Mexicans left the United States while only 870,000 Mexicans arrived.