“We have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military,” the senators wrote in a letter in response to the funds being moved to prepare for border wall construction.
Senators sent a letter to Shanahan stating that by transferring money without the appropriate congressional committees, the Defense Department had committed an illegal act in violation the defense appropriations bill.
Hidden under the false statement, “DOD Authorizes Support to Counter Drug Border Security.” the Pentagon announced: “Funds will be used to support DHS’s request to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border in support of the February 15 national emergency declaration on the southern border of the United States.”
The Pentagon news release falsely cites 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7) — the federal statute that gives it authority to build fences and take other measures to support federal law enforcement agencies that are working to stop drug trafficking.
The Trump administration has pursued plans to build more fencing or walls in the face of critics who said he was setting a dangerous precedent by invoking presidential power to override Congress’s funding authority — and that the crisis at the border has more to do with social and civil rights issues than with drugs.
Despite the president’s claims, in order to meet their duty to protect the constitution, several governors have ordered their National Guard troops to leave the border, saying there is no security crisis. And many mayors of U.S. cities along the Southwest border say their communities are among the safest in the nation, citing FBI crime statistics and other measures.
“Send social workers to process the asylum-seekers, not soldiers,” Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen, Texas, said.
Eddie Trevino, Cameron County judge in Brownsville, said, “It is a misconception that the border is insecure. There is no Central American invasion. This is a manufactured crisis.”