Sun, 15 Sep 2019

Where Will New Walls Be Built Along US-Mexico Border

Voice of America
11 Sep 2019, 09:35 GMT+10

The U.S. Pentagon is cutting funding for 127 Defense Department projects domestically and abroad in order to divert $3.6 billion to pay for President Donald Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The programs that have been cut include an array of previously planned military spending, including target ranges, maintenance facilities and day care centers for military families.

Some of the projects being pulled are less critical, such as expanding parking at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, while others are arguably more important, such as the expansion of a missile defense field in Alaska.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state is losing $8 million that was meant to build a flight simulator, which would have helped the National Guard assist in firefighting.

The Pentagon said no projects that provide housing or critical infrastructure for troops have been affected by the cuts.

Pentagon officials said the money saved from the projects will be redirected to build 282 kilometers of the southern border wall, which Trump has made a signature issue during his presidency.

The president declared a national emergency over the issue this year in order free up billions of dollars in military funds to pay for the wall, along with $1.4 billion that Congress had already allocated.

Democratic lawmakers have heavily criticized the move and say they will not approve more money to revive the cut military programs.

This week in Yuma, Arizona, construction began on a portion of border fence that is funded by the military cuts. A 9-meter steel fence is being built along the Colorado River, an area that saw a large increase in migrant crossings this year.

The United States already has some form of barrier along about a third of its border with Mexico.

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