by WorldTribune Staff, January 25, 2019
President Donald Trump could cite his authority under the National Emergencies Act to declare a state of emergency at the U.S.’s southern border and free up $7 billion in federal funds for a border wall, a report said.
Under the emergency declaration, Trump would order the Pentagon to immediately begin working on plans to build additional barriers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, CNN reported on Jan. 24. The Army Corps of Engineers would oversee the project.
More than half of the wall funds would come from the military’s construction budget, the report said. Another $3 billion could be redirected from the Defense Department’s civil works fund. The remaining money could be pulled from Treasury forfeiture funds and the Department of Homeland Security.
NBC news reported last week that Trump was considering using billions of dollars of Army Corps of Engineers funding to build more than 300 miles of barrier on the border.
The Army Corps project would take 18 months from start to finish, Trump was reportedly told.
New or enhanced barriers would go in at areas with the highest levels of illegal immigration, including the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas; Yuma, Arizona; and San Diego and El Centro, California.
In April 2018, Customs and Border Protection said it was replacing and building new barriers on 100 miles of the 2,000-mile border. Approximately one-third of the border has some type of barrier, including spots with only barbed wire.