The Pentagon notified Congress Monday night it authorized the transfer of up to $1 billion to begin new border wall construction.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan notified Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the transfer in a letter that the funds will go toward building a 57 mile wall that will block “up to 11 drug-smuggling corridors along the border.”
The Hill reported:
Shanahan “authorized the commander of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol,” according to the statement.
“These funds will be used to support DHS’s request to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border in support of the February 15 national emergency declaration on the southern border of the United States.”
The statement adds that the Pentagon has such authority to transfer the money “to construct roads and fences and to install lighting to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies.”
The Trump administration plans to use roughly $8 billion to build barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, with $6.1 billion of that pulled from Pentagon accounts. A total $2.5 billion is expected to be taken from counter-drug programs and $3.6 billion from military construction funds.
Naturally, all Democratic senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subpanels on defense and on military construction and veterans affairs signed a letter to Shanahan objecting to the move.
“We strongly object to both the substance of the funding transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without seeking the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions in the defense appropriation itself,” the senators write.
“As a result, we have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military.”
We know there has been a sharp increase of illegal aliens being apprehended at the border and it has exhausted the manpower we have there.
Does anyone even know how many are getting through? How many of them have violent criminal records? How many drugs are coming through?
It has been reported that many people who live along stretches of insecure border are afraid to speak out about the criminal elements coming across in their areas.
A wall will go a long way to give these law abiding citizens peace of mind and protect our country from the most ruthless of criminals, like MS-13 members.