Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan Tours Southern Border as Pentagon Looks to Reallocate Funds for Wall by Missy Ryan – Washington Post
EL PASO - Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan toured the U.S. border with Mexico on Saturday as the Pentagon prepares to allocate billions of dollars toward the construction of President Trump’s border wall.
The visit marked the most visible foray to date by Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who became acting Pentagon chief last month, into the president’s politically charged immigration agenda.
It occurred as Shanahan examines a proposal to shift as much as $3.6 billion in planned military construction funding toward fortifying the border, a step made possible by Trump’s declaration of a national emergency related to a perceived threat from undocumented immigrants.
The declaration has prompted legislative challenges from Democrats while threatening to divide Republicans whose states could lose out on coveted military projects.
Speaking to reporters after a several-hours visit, Shanahan said his conversations with officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and observations at sites in Texas and New Mexico had underscored the role the military can play in helping detect and deter illegal migration while freeing up Border Patrol agents…