He went on to claim that the number of "illegal aliens" staying in the country is as high as 25.7 million. This by far exceeds estimates by the Department of Homeland Security, which reported an approximate 12 million illegal immigrants in 2015, the most up-to-date data available.
While the POTUS did not reveal where he got his numbers from, his statement was in line with his previous remarks.
"Illegal immigration costs the United States more than 200 billion dollars a year," he tweeted last month. "How was this allowed to happen?"
Earlier in December, he claimed the US was losing $250 billion a year "not including the terrible drug flow" — something that many experts on migration consider to be an exaggerated figure.
Analysts have argued that the shutdown cost the government much more than the wall itself. According to estimates by Standard & Poor's Chief US Economist Beth Ann Bovino, for example, each week of the shutdown cost the federal budget approximately $1.2 billion in direct and indirect damage.