Pentagon authorizes USD 1 bn for President Trump's US-Mexico border wall

Elias Hubbard
March 26, 2019

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at a "Strategic National Security Space: FY2020 Budget and Policy Forum", hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019.

The Pentagon has authorized a payment of $1 billion to begin building a portion of President Trump's proposed southern border wall, according to USA officials.

Acting Defence 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 US border with Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security requested the 18-foot-high wall to be put into place not long after President Trump declared a state of emergency in the region.

It's not made completely clear whether this fencing is a part of the permanent border wall the president has called for - a fight over funding for which led to an impasse that triggered a partial government shutdown earlier this year.

The Pentagon also noted that 10 U.S.C. § 284 (b)(7) gives the Department of Defense the authority to construct roads and fences and to install lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across worldwide boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies. He noted that the installation of lighting would include embedded cameras.

The Pentagon also released a letter from Shanahan authorizing the funds in response to a DHS request for support.

"Additional support may be available in the future, subject to the availability of funds and other factors", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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