Trump: Border wall 'pays for itself in two months'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE called on Democrats on Tuesday to vote to fund his proposed border wall, saying the project would pay "for itself in two months."

In a tweet, Trump claimed "our Country losses 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration."

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Trump's appeal to Democrats comes ahead of a homeland security spending fight to avoid a partial government shutdown originally slated for Friday.

House Republicans filed a stop-gap bill to move the deadline for a partial shutdown to Dec. 21 to accommodate for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.

That bill is likely to be approved, but will leave a small window for Congressional leaders to pass appropriation bills before leaving Washington for the holidays.

And with Democrats due to take over the House in January, Trump's window to pay for his signature campaign proposal could be closing.

The House had previously passed a bill that included $5 billion for border security, but the Senate version included less than $2 billion. Trump has indicated he won’t sign a bill that includes less than $5 billion earmarked for the wall.

Senate Republicans, including some Trump allies, have expressed public reluctance to play chicken on a potential shutdown over border security, making it less likely that they'll push for the total $25 billion Trump is requesting.

"Top Border Security, including a Wall, is $25 Billion. Pays for itself in two months. Get it done!" wrote Trump.

It's unclear where Trump got his figures, and he said in a 2016 speech that illegal immigration costs the U.S. "more than $113 billion a year."

2017 research paper by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — a think tank that promotes reduced immigration and wields considerable influence on the Trump administration — made the case that a border wall would pay for itself based on the estimated lifetime fiscal burden of immigrants who crossed the border illegally.

That CIS study has often been used by Trump allies to illustrate the alleged net fiscal costs of illegal border crossings.

That study, based on figures from a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), was criticized by the NAS researchers who wrote the original study.

"They are using numbers trying to make it seem that the average cost will just go away if these people aren’t here," NAS study author Kim Reubens told fact-finding site Snopes.

Reubens added that the CIS study did not take into account "that the large reason why [fiscal projections] are negative rather than positive has to do with the fact that we are running deficits in this country."