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Policy Summary
In response to the surge of apprehended migrants at the US Southern Border in recent months, swamped border officials have been hoping for more funding and government support. The Pentagon recently announced that they will be diverting funds from various military operations and programs towards contributing to Trump’s wall along the US Southern Border.  Roughly $1.5 billion will be directed towards Trump’s wall from programs like surveillance plane systems, InterContinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), and Airborne Warning and Control Systems that go alongside ICBMs (AWACS). Of the $1.5 billion, $604 million will come from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, $344 million will be from the Air Force, and $251 million from a project that was intended to destroy chemical agents in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993) ban of chemical weapons. In addition to the pledged $1.5 billion, there will be an additional $1 billion of Army personnel funds and $3.6 billion from military construction projects potentially diverted as well. The acting Defense Secretary, Patrick Shanahan, has confirmed diverting the funds will not impact military readiness.

Analysis
This monetary diversion comes shortly after the Army’s personnel budget freed up $1 billion that the Defense Department transferred to wall construction in March.  There are no official laws in place that bar Secretary Shanahan from diverting these funds, but moving forward it could pose difficulties  for the Defense Department the next time military leaders go to Capitol Hill to seek additional funding. The diversion of these funds also proves the Trump Administration  isruthless in their single-track goal of building an essentially, negatively symbolic yet useless wall.

Engagement Resources

  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • us: an organization that aims to promote the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream alive. They specifically and currently focus on immigration reform.

Photo by unsplash-logoIlario Piatti

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