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Trump's raid on military construction funds for his border wall will screw over critical Air Force projects, report says
An Air Force assessment indicates that the Trump administration's decision to reroute funding from dozens of the service's planned military construction projects "poses various national security risks for the U.S. armed forces," NBC News reports.
The Pentagon is diverting funds from 127 military construction projects to pay for Trump’s border wall
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 120 U.S. military construction projects will be adversely affected as the Pentagon prepares to use $3.6 billion to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) of the border wall with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The emergency declaration allows the Trump administration to use money from the military construction budget and the Pentagon has said it could use $3.6 billion from the budget.
In March, the Pentagon provided Congress with a broad list of projects that could be affected, but did not provide details.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
Remember in November when then Defense Secretary James Mattis said U.S. troops assigned to the southwestern border were not expected to interact with migrants?
Well, they are.
NBC News first reported that active-duty troops are assigned to a a Customs and Border Patrol camp in Donna, Texas, where their job involves keeping an eye on the migrants being held there to see if any of them are suffering from medical problems.
"Despite past assurances from federal officials that the active-duty U.S. troops deployed to the border would not be in direct contact with migrants or be used for law enforcement, the service members stand watch over the migrants," NBC reported. "The troops are perched on raised platforms throughout a large room where the migrants are held, according to the four officials."
The Pentagon said on Wednesday it had approved a request to send an additional 1,000 Texas National Guard and 1,100 active duty troops to the border with Mexico, the latest deployment in support of President Donald Trump's controversial immigration crackdown.