Trump Declares Emergency on Southern Border, Opens Battle Over Use of Military, Funds to Build Wall by Claudia Grisales - Stars & Stripes
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency along the U.S-Mexico border, part of an overall effort that uses roughly $6 billion in military funds and personnel to build a wall to curtail illegal immigration.
Trump plans to pull $3.6 billion from military construction funds by evoking the National Emergencies Act and another $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s drug interdiction program through a presidential executive order.
These funds are part of an overall plan that Trump announced Friday to use $8 billion, which includes $1.375 billion in a new government appropriations package that he is scheduled to sign, to build a southern border wall. The targeted funds also include another $600 million from Treasury Department forfeiture funds.
However, the move sets up political and legal fights that could delay any funds from being used for a border wall for months or years, leaving uncertainty when or if the military will be involved in the wall’s construction, some experts contend.
“It’s not like a wall is going to go up tomorrow. It’s going to take months or years to see the kinds of barriers” the Trump administration has proposed, said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is long term, this is not a short-term thing.”…