The construction of the security wall along the Mexican border could ramp up quickly after the Department of Homeland Security sent a request to the Pentagon this week. The expectation is that the DoD will fund the construction of nearly 300 miles of border wall in 2020 to counter drug smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Department of Defense (DoD) will decide how much funds will be allotted to Homeland Security, DoD officials told The Associated Press, Reuters, and other news outlets. The courts have upheld the Trump administration’s use of the U.S. military to construct and fund the wall after Democrats sued to stop it.
Since construction began, the Trump administration has built approximately 100 miles of his signature border security wall fulfilling a major campaign promise to the American people. That construction included adding state-of-the art monitoring. The goal has been to construct 400 miles of new infrastructure.
“Sometimes when we get these areas, they’re not constructable or it’s difficult to do that at certain points,” an official told Reuters. “Then funding decisions are assessed simultaneous with that.”
Construction could begin at any time but would need to be spent by Sept. 30 when the fiscal year ends.
Trump visits border wall construction efforts:
Top military leaders need to review the potential impact on the DoD before a final decision is rendered by Secretary Mark Esper, an official told AP.
The officials also told the news agency that the money allocated for countering drug smuggling can be used at the border since Homeland Security, which oversees the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has certified it as a drug-smuggling corridor.
“The first priority of DOD is protection of the homeland. So the … southwest border is a security issue, and so we’ll see how things play out, but we remain committed to supporting the Department of Homeland Security in its mission,” he said, according to a transcript on Tuesday. When he was asked if that includes financial support, Esper said, “If that’s what it takes, we are prepared to support.”
–Metro Voice and wire services