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Defense Secretary OK's $1 Billion for Border Fencing Help

Defense Secretary OK's $1 Billion for Border Fencing Help
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 March 2019 07:21 AM

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and building 57 miles of 18-foot-high "pedestrian fencing" in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas, along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The Pentagon says it will divert up to $1 billion to support the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection. The funding also would go toward installing lighting and constructing roads in those areas.

Shanahan says the Corps' focus will be on blocking "drug-smuggling corridors."

Last week, the Pentagon gave Congress a list that included $12.8 billion of construction projects from which funds could be redirected for border construction.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency last month in a bid to fund his promised border wall without congressional approval.

Shanahan said in a memo to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen that the Department of Defense had the authority to support counter-narcotics activities near international boundaries.

The El Paso sector has suddenly become the second-busiest corridor for illegal border crossings after Texas' Rio Grande Valley, many of them asylum-seeking families from Central America. The Yuma sector has also witnessed a jump in illegal crossings, particularly Guatemalan families in remote areas.

Material from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and building 57 miles of 18-foot-high fencing in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas, along the U.S. border with Mexico.
trump, pentagon, fund, border wall
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2019-21-26
Tuesday, 26 March 2019 07:21 AM
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