Pentagon diverting $1B in budget for wall construction on Southwest border

Border Funding

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - One billion dollars is coming from the Pentagon budget to begin new wall construction on the Southwest border, including in Arizona.

According to the Associated Press, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and building 57 miles of 18-foot-high fencing in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas, along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The Pentagon said it put up to $1 billion to support the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol.

According to the latest Customs & Border Patrol apprehension numbers, migrants taken into custody while crossing the border illegally was up more than 250-percent from this time last year in Yuma.

Last month, 5,694 migrants were apprehended compared to 1,618 in February 2018.

The Pentagon said El Paso has become the second-busiest corridor for illegal border crossings after Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, reported by the AP.

Numbers from the CBP show more than 13,700 migrants were taken into custody in the El Paso sector last month, compared to just over 1,700 in February of last year. That is nearly a 700-percent increase.

Shanahan said the Corps’ focus will be on blocking “drug-smuggling corridors.”

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