President Trump has raised the possibility of U.S. troops building a wall on the U.S./Mexico border, but there are no plans at the moment for service members to do so, according to the Pentagon.
- Before meeting with senior Democratic leaders on Tuesday, the president tweeted: “If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!”
- Active-duty U.S. troops have been stringing concertina wire and building temporary barricades along the southwestern border since late October to help civil authorities prevent Central American asylum seekers from crossing into the United States. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently extended their mission through Jan. 31, 2019.
- The president gave no indications on Tuesday about when he might order troops to build sections of the wall, how many service members might be involved, how much the construction project would cost, and how it would be paid for.
- The White House did not respond to requests for comment from Task & Purpose.
- As of Tuesday, the Defense Department has not been tasked with building a border wall, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
- “To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall,” Davis said in an email. “However, Congress has provided options under Title 10 U.S. Code that could permit the Department of Defense to fund border barrier projects, such as in support of counter drug operations or national emergencies.”