President Donald Trump will transfer another $7.2 billion in additional Pentagon funding in 2020 to pay for the promised border wall, according to the Washington Post.
The Washington Post reported January 13 that President Donald Trump would use his national emergency powers to:
Divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding to build a border wall this year. That’s five times the amount of money authorized by Congress for the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.
The Pentagon funds would be extracted from two sources, for the second year in a row, $3.7 billion from one fund for military construction and $3.5 billion from another for counter-narcotic programs. According to the plans, “the funding would give the government enough money to complete about 885 miles of new fencing by spring 2022, far more than the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.”
The move, if not blocked by Congress or the courts, would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump.
So far, a little over 100 miles of an upgraded “wall system” has been built. Trump deputies are in the process of planning and building another 350 miles.
Chad Wolf, the acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security, admitted last week that the agency will not meet the president’s target of 450 miles by election day. “I can tell you right now that we remain confident that we are on track to [reach] 400, 450 miles that are either completed or under construction by the end of 2020,” Wolf told attendees at a January 10 press conference in Yuma, Arizona.
Pro-migration groups, including advocates for cheap labor, are funding lawsuits to block Trump’s border policies. But a federal appeals court released $3.6 billion in border wall funding on January 8 that had been blocked by a lawsuit. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans lifted the curbs while the Department of Justice prepares to appeal a lower judge’s decision to block the spending because of the lawsuit.
Officials say the border wall helps agents reduce illegal migration and shrink the transfer of drugs into Americans’ communities and young people.
The drug problem is especially bad in the towns that were damaged by the federal government’s support for free trade and the cheap labor stimulus for Wall Street.