The Pentagon announced that it will use funds already allocated to assist in paying for the border wall between the United States and Mexico. This funding is in direct support of the state of emergency called for by President Donald Trump earlier this year. The recent Pentagon announcement included details about the proposed spending, and was sent to Congress.
The Pentagon has the authority to build defensive barriers to protect the nation; the funds allocated will pay for a fence that is 18 feet high, and designed to deter crossing by foot. The amount the Pentagon is providing will create about 57 miles of fencing
“[The state of national emergency] gives the Department of Defense the authority 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 Pentagon said in a statement.
The Defense Department already has an approved budget. Back in September 2018, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law providing the Pentagon with an enhanced budget for defense and military improvements. The funds were originally allocated to improve military vehicles and vessels. Once the national emergency was declared, the need for the wall became more urgent than the need for improvements elsewhere, and thus the funds were moved.
After proposals to fund the wall triggered huge resistance from Democrats — and the latest spending bill left out funding for a border wall — the President declared a state of national emergency. This declaration was designed to address the influx of illegal immigrants and drugs across the southern border, and allowed for the reallocation of funds from other approved sources to pay for the wall. About $6 billion could be drawn from other programs. Despite objections from the opposition, the national emergency declaration passed, and the wall could now be funded via other approved sources.
Almost a dozen Democratic senators sent a letter of objection to Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. The letter alleges that funding the border wall would take money away from the military.
“The $1 billion reprogramming that the Department is implementing without congressional approval constitutes dollar-for-dollar theft from other readiness needs of our Armed Forces,” Democrats said in the letter.
According to these senators, the money would be better spent on the Armed Forces, though this particular group has never been concerned with military improvements in the past.
The money from the Pentagon will help fund miles of additional security in the form of a physical border. This should help stem the steadily rising flow of illegal immigrants across the border. It should also help in the fight against drugs and the growing opiate crisis, as a physical wall will make it more difficult to bring drugs into the country.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter