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The US Defense Department said Tuesday it was freeing up $3.6 billion in funds budgeted for other projects to build a wall on the Mexican border as ordered by President Donald Trump.
Six weeks after being confirmed by Congress, Defense Secretary Mike Esper has signed off on the diversion of funds from 127 'deferred military projects' both inside and outside the country, said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffmann.
February - Trump - Congress - Funding - Barrier
In February Trump, frustrated that Congress would not provide funding for the 18-foot barrier, declared a 'national emergency' at the border in order to obtain $6.6 billion from other budgeted accounts for wall construction aimed at stemming the flow of undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America.
That included an initial $2.5 billion from Pentagon spending that was to have been used for programs to combat the drug trade and other operations.
Lawsuits - Wall - Judge - Injunction - Funding
Multiple lawsuits against the wall led a federal judge to place an injunction blocking the funding until he cases could be reviewed.
But in a major political victory for the president, in July the Supreme Court overturned that ruling, allowing work to go ahead.
Pentagon - Funds - Department - Homeland - Security
Since then, Pentagon funds have gone toward Department of Homeland Security projects to replace existing portions of wall along the 2,000 mile frontier, while no new wall has been erected.
In addition, the Defense Department has deployed thousands of uniformed troops to the Mexican border to help monitor security and provide backup logistics for hundreds of thousands of detained migrants.
Wall - Trump - Campaign - Pledges - President
Building the wall was one of Trump's central campaign pledges in the 2016 president election battle, along with a promise...
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