Feb 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

$3.83 billion from Pentagon budget to be diverted for Trump border wall

A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Photo: Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

The Department of Defense is rerouting $3.83 billion from its budget to fund President Trump's southern border wall, according to budget documents cited by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The money is being pulled from other Pentagon budget items including aircraft, Army automobiles and miscellaneous equipment to fulfill Trump's campaign promise of a border barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. The reallocation is part of a larger effort to divert $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds this year for the project, per the Post.

  • The Pentagon reportedly told Congress that the earmarked funds either exceeded the military’s present needs or are not yet necessary given the schedule of the programs in question, the Post notes.
  • The Trump administration is diverting the billions of dollars without congressional approval. The same thing happened last year when the administration moved $6.1 billion from the Pentagon's budget for the border project.
  • The White House's 2021 budget request released on Monday included $2 billion in border wall funding.

What they're saying: Nine Democratic senators sent a letter on Thursday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper condemning the decision, according to Foreign Policy.

Go deeper: Illegal border crossings continue to fall as U.S. enforces asylum agreements

Go deeper

Family of Mexican teen killed by border agent cannot sue, SCOTUS rules

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4, along ideological lines, that the family of a Mexican teenager who was killed across the southern border by a U.S. border agent cannot sue for damages.

Why it matters: The court’s decision avoids inviting more lawsuits from foreign nationals against U.S. law enforcement. The court noted in its opinion that “a cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications.”

Federal court temporarily halts "Remain in Mexico" program, then grants emergency stay

Migrant wearing a cap with U.S. flagin front of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Image

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's earlier injunction on Friday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), only to be reinstated a couple of hours later, AP reports.

The state of play: After the court's initial ruling, the judges granted the Trump administration's request for an emergency stay just hours later, per The Washington Post. The Department of Justice argued there could be an influx of migrants who reach the border since 25,000 migrants have been ­waiting in Mexico, endangering national security.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court allows Trump's full "Remain in Mexico" program to continue

President Trump at a rally in Phoenix in February. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

The Supreme Court gave the Trump administration another immigration win on Wednesday, blocking a federal injunction that would have halted the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — or "Remain in Mexico" policy — in California and Arizona.

Why it matters: The Trump administration sent military troops to parts of the border ahead of the decision in order to prepare for any surges of migrants crossing the border if MPP was halted, per the New York Times.