Late Monday night, the Pentagon formally notified Congress of an authorized transfer of up to $1 billion to start 57 miles of “pedestrian fencing” along the Texas-Mexico border. This wall funding comes as the Department Homeland Security has called seen a surge of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S.
In El Paso and Yuma, the border wall will be 18 feet high. The decision from the Pentagon marks the latest development in President Donald Trump’s focus on security the border, a campaign promise he has continued to follow through on.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan first announced the Army Corps of Engineers will begin their planning and execution of the project in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
BREAKING: The Pentagon has notified Congress that it has authorized the transfer of $1 billion to begin new wall construction along the US-Mexico border
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 26, 2019
The New York Times first reported the funds are being transferred under Section 284.
Section 284 allows the Pentagon 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.”
A group of senators slammed back against the Pentagon’s funding allocation and Trump.
In a letter to Shanahan, they cited a strong objection to “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.”
Shanahan testified Tuesday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing, along with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Photo by Archive: U.S. Secretary of Defense