President Donald Trump may use the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and a portion of their $13.9 billion funding to build a wall on the Southern Border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the plan’s details, who leaked to NBC News on Thursday.
The USACE is a federal agency made up of around37,000 civilian and military personnel. They are tasked with designing and building public works projects around the world, making them one of the largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies.
In the case of declaring a national emergency, it is the USACE who would be tasked with building the wall, something they can fund with money already set aside for projects across the country and around the world.
The $13.9 billion is allocated to the agency through 2020, but much of the money has not yet been spent. In the case of a national emergency, that money can be diverted to fund a wall to fight back against the crisis on the border.
Among the funding Trump could dip into, according to the officials familiar, is $2.4 billion allocated to projects in California and $2.5 billion set aside for reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico.
Using funding for projects in California would make sense, considering that California is the preeminent state encouraging illegal immigration.
If the USACE build the wall, it is expected to take 18 months to complete the 315 mile plan. The initial focus would be on the most heavily trafficked areas of the border, focusing on specific areas in Texas, California, and Arizona, known for the flood of illegal immigrants and drugs.
But if Trump pushes this plan forward, Democrats are expected to fight back, by blocking the re-allocation of the funds, according to a Capitol Hill source speaking to NBC News.
Democrats will almost certainly jump to ridiculous claims of President Trump putting people’s lives at risk, while ignoring the major risk that we live under with an insecure border.
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