John Oliver calculates how much Donald Trump's border wall would actually cost

How Donald Trump Would Build a Wall Along the Mexican Border
How Donald Trump Would Build a Wall Along the Mexican Border

John Oliver dedicated Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight to Donald Trump's oft-proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.


"The border wall is one of the few policy proposals Trump has talked about in detail, so instead of mocking or dismissing it out of hand, tonight, let's take a serious proposal by a serious presidential candidate seriously," said the host.

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Though initially proposed to cost somewhere between $4 billion and $12 billion, Oliver calculated that a construction project of the mentioned materials "hardened concrete," "rebar," and "steel," including labor and transportation, would be closer to $25 billion, not including maintenance costs. "It's a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time," and definitely won't be funded by Mexico. And due to a slew of existing laws, deciding the location of the wall is no easy task either.

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Beside the fact that a wall won't keep out drug cartels or migrants who overstay their visas, "efficacy is beside the point. This wall is about making us feel safer," and "Donald Trump has been uncommonly clear about who we need to be protected from. ... While, yes, individual undocumented immigrants have committed horrible crimes, so, obviously have American citizens. And in fact, researchers consistently find that immigrants are less -- not more -- crime-prone than their native-born counterparts. The crime rates among immigrants once here are in relatively tiny digits, which is something Donald Trump should frankly understand given that he has ten of them attached to his miniscule wrists."

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Oliver estimated that Trump's wall would cost $77 per person, and suggested instead that everyone invests that cash in a satisfying waffle iron. "This waffle iron plan will cost less, will do nearly as much to keep out immigrants and drugs, it won't harm our relationship with our third-largest trading partner, if it is racist it's only toward Belgians, and unlike Donald Trump's wall, this makes f-;ing waffles," he explained. "Let's ask ourselves what kind of country do we want to wake up to? One that spends billions on an impossible, impractical symbol of fear, or one that smells like breakfast? Exactly!"

Watch the video below: