Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, authorized $3.6 billion on Tuesday to go toward one of President Donald Trump’s pet projects, the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to the Pentagon, 127 military construction projects are being delayed or suspended for the project. The Pentagon apparently did not specify which projects are affected, but they said that about half are overseas and half are in the U.S.
Not only does the U.S. already have walls at points of the border, but Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Elaine McCusker apparently said that construction of the wall could go past 2020 because of what CNN described as “issues involved with land acquisition,” which is a cute euphemism for people not wanting to give their property to the government for a giant, violent, militarized wall when the government could be putting money toward just about anything else.
Beyond that, the border wall is part of the racist violence that the Trump administration is carrying out toward asylum seekers. And some parts of the border are just not practical for a wall due to natural reasons like rivers and deserts.
“We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall,” said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin.
Congress has already approved $1.375 billion in this year’s budget for wall construction. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement on Tuesday, “This decision will harm already planned, important projects intended to support our service members at military installations in New York, across the United States, and around the world.”
Esper said that the idea of the wall is to, you know, assist the troops at the border.
“In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively,” Esper wrote. “In this respect, the contemplated construction projects are force multipliers.”
There are apparently 3,000 active-duty troops and 2,000 members of the National Guard at the border alongside Customs and Border Protection officers.