The U.S. Army will be the primary contractor building the southern border wall, the White House announced on Monday.
“If the president declares a national emergency, the Army Corps of Engineers will kick into high gear,” said a White House official. “They’re already handing out contracts, and that would speed up a lot.”
The White House Office of Management and Budget sent a letter to Democratic House committee chairs on Sunday, informing them that the Customs and Border Protection agency is coordinating with the army to fulfill President Trump’s goal of securing the border with a steel wall.
“In concert with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CBP has increased its capacity to execute these funds,” said a letter from the White House budget office to Democratic House committee chairs.
“The Administration’s full request would fund construction of a total of approximately 234 miles of new physical barrier and fully fund the top 10 priorities in CBP’s Border Security Improvement Plan.”
The letter goes on to request funds for several other areas pertaining to border security, including more border patrol personnel, humanitarian supplies, and technology resources.
“These upfront investments in physical barriers and technology, as well as legislation to close loopholes in our immigration system, will reduce illegal immigration, the flow of illicit drugs entering our country and reduce the long term costs for border and immigration enforcement
activities,” the letter concluded.
Trump indicated Sunday that he may declare a National Emergency to begin work on the wall if the Democrats continue to ignore the country’s border crisis.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 7, 2019
Read the letter in full below:
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