Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Federal judge blocks the White House from using military funds to build US-Mexico border wall
A federal judge in El Paso has issued a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration's use of military construction funds to build a border wall.
U.S. District Judge David Briones said in a memorandum filed Tuesday that funds appropriated by Congress to the Department of Defense for construction projects can't be diverted to build a border wall.
The injunction blocks the administration from using up to $3.6 billion it planned to reallocate from military construction projects.
However, the judge's order doesn't prohibit the administration from using up to $2.5 billion in Department of Defense funding originally earmarked to support counter-drug activities.
"It is prohibiting the use of the military funds that were illegally diverted by the president's declaration," said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, which, along with El Paso County, sued President Trump and members of the administration over the wall funding earlier this year.
"Right now, the court has prohibited the use of more than half of that redirected money," Garcia said. "(Trump) went above Congress by redirecting those funds. For us it's an important victory."
In October, Briones ruled that Trump's February proclamation of a national emergency at the border violated federal law, as did the administration's decision to divert military funds to pay for construction of a wall.
In New Mexico, funds diverted from the DOD counter-narcotics operations are currently paying for 46 miles of 30-foot fencing now under construction in Luna County. Those funds are not affected by the injunction, so construction is likely to continue.
Trump asked for nearly $6 billion to build the border wall last year, but Congress only appropriated $1.375 billion for border wall projects. The judge's order Tuesday doesn't affect funds appropriated by Congress to build a border barrier.
©2019 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.