On Saturday, Patrick Shanahan, the current acting Defense Secretary, made it clear that the military remains committed to securing the US-Mexico border, as law enforcement officials continue struggling to address the growing numbers of migrants.
“We’re not going to leave until the border is secure,” said Shanahan, who explained, “This isn’t about identifying a problem, it’s about fixing a problem more quickly.”
Yesterday, Shanahan approved an additional $1.5 billion dollars which will be allocated from Pentagon funding and used to further construction of the barrier at the US southern border.
US Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies have repeatedly sought help as the border crisis worsens exponentially, with over 100,000 illegal migrants being reportedly detained in March, and another 100,000 in April.
From The Hill:
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday that he intends to speed up plans to secure the border while visiting a Texas border city.
Shanahan also said Pentagon officials would remain at the border until it is secure, according to the Associated Press.
“We’re not going to leave until the border is secure,” he said. “This isn’t about identifying a problem. It’s about fixing a problem more quickly.”
He told Congress this week that 4,364 troops are stationed at the border, but the troops do not act as law enforcement. According to the AP, they are expected to remain there until September.
Shanahan, who president Trump nominated to lead the Pentagon, told reporters that their stay “will not be indefinite,” according to the wire service.
He has approved the transfer of $1.5 billion in Pentagon funds, including more than $600 million from an Afghan security forces account, to help construct more than 120 miles of barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Defense Department said Friday.