he Pentagon has awarded nearly $1 billion in contracts to build a barrier along the U.S. southern border.
The Hill reports: Texas-based company SLSCO Ltd. was granted a $789 million contract for construction in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, which falls within the El Paso sector of the border. The Army Corps of Engineers also awarded Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. $187 million to build barriers in Yuma, Arizona.
A DOD spokesman told the Hill that the El Paso contract would help pay for “30-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate” and the Yuma contract would build “18-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate.”
This marks the first time the Department of Defense has doled out funds since President Trump declared a national emergency in February.
“The funds for the contracts come from the nearly $1 billion that was repurposed from Army personnel accounts to help supplement the 284 counter-drug account that authorizes border barrier construction. The money is separate from the $3.6 billion in military construction funds that the national emergency also reprogrammed for the wall,” writes the Hill.
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he Pentagon announced yesterday it is sending 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, raising the total number of active duty troops deployed to 4,350.
The Pentagon said, “Additional units are being deployed for 90 days, and we will continue to evaluate the force composition required to meet the mission to protect and secure the southern border.”
Fox News reports:
The announcement comes as a congressional committee seeks to reach a deal on border security funding to avert another partial government shutdown.
President Trump has hinted at declaring a national emergency if the deal doesn’t include funds for a border wall. The lack of an agreement on funding for a border wall closed portions of the government for 35 days.
Trump ordered the deployments in October 2018 in response to the impending arrival at the border of a caravan of asylum-seekers from Central America.
The announcement comes on the heels of the revelation of three new migrant caravans heading towards the U.S. border from Central America.
Top Pentagon official John Rood said last week, “Current information shows that a caravan of over 12,000 people — there’s three that we are tracking, that the DHS is tracking en route, one that is over 12,000 by the latest estimate.”
he Pentagon confirmed
that it is preparing to build barriers along the southern border should the President declare a national emergency.
“The Department of Defense is reviewing available authorities and funding mechanisms to identify options to enable border barrier construction,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Speaks. “As there has not been such a declaration made, it would be inappropriate to comment further on those efforts.”
President Trump has repeatedly said he is willing to declare a national emergency to build the border wall if Democrats are unable to reach a deal to fund the government and border wall.
“We have the absolute right to declare a national emergency,” he said yesterday. “This is security stuff. This is a national emergency if you look at whats happening…and you just heard the statement they came in last week or this week from Pakistan…[border patrol] got them.”
The statement the President was referring to was made by Acting Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz who informed him yesterday that his border patrol sector had apprehended two individuals from Pakistan on Wednesday.
Ortiz said that while they apprehended 450 individuals on Wednesday, 133 of those apprehensions were people from countries other than Central America and Mexico.
“That includes individuals from India, Pakistan, China, Romania, Ecuador, Nicaragua and on and on,” he said.