The Prison-Wall

Feasibility and Sustainability

The U.S. Department of Justice expects to employ Mexican labor to operate the prison, reducing labor costs, language acquisition needs for management of the inmate population, and, through the creation of millions of jobs in Mexico, the incentive for illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States. 

At a total cost $71 per square foot, construction of the prison-wall will total approximately $396 billion. In addition, at $6,000 per annum per inmate (50% more than the average cost per inmate in the Mexican prison system[1]), the prison-wall will have an operating budget of approximately $66 billion per annum. Against this capital outlay and annual operating cost, the prison-wall will charge private companies an average of $15,000 per annum per adult inmate for the use of inmate labor in manufacturing and service operations, plus $5 per square foot in rent for use of the facilities. Assuming seven million inmates are actively involved in this detainee productivity and training program, the prison-wall will generate $105 billion per annum in income, plus ancillary income of approximately $35 billion, consisting chiefly of rental income from production facility, retail, and tourist service operators and rental income for staff housing, for a total of $140 billion. This amount more than offsets the annual operating cost and provides $74 billion per annum in excess cash flow, amortizing the initial capital outlay in approximately five years.

For a complete presentation of the financial metrics and area calculations, click here.

[1] Rosen, Jonathon and Roberto Zeppeda, Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Violence in the Mexican Prison System: The Transition from Felipe Calderón to Enrique Peña Nieto. London: Lexington Press, 2016, 103.