Pentagon Shifts $3.8 Bn More To Mexico Border Wall

Pentagon shifts $3.8 bn more to Mexico border wall

Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Feb, 2020 ) :The US Defense Department said Thursday it is shifting another $3.8 billion towards paying for a wall on the US-Mexico border as President Donald Trump extended his "national emergency" declaration over unlawful migration for another year.

Pentagon officials said the money would be used to build about 177 miles (285 kilometers) of the concrete and steel barrier Trump wants to deter migrants from entering the country illegally.

That will bring to a hefty $9.9 billion the total amount the US military has been forced to divert to border wall construction over the past two years as Trump seeks to overcome Congress's repeated refusal to provide the funding.

The Pentagon called the money a contribution to the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to combat drug trafficking.

But Trump has made clear that the barrier targets migrants from the south.

The wall construction "will allow DHS to fulfill the president's border security policy promise," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Salesses.

"The Corps of Engineers, under the direction of the Secretary of the Army, is ready to contract and construct the border barrier." In a new White House order Thursday, that emergency was extended through February 2021, despite a sharp decline in migrants crossing the border from Mexico illegally.

"The ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States continues to threaten our national security," the order said.

"Further action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and to control unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and criminals across the southern border of the United States."

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