US Military to Fulfill New DHS Request to Build More Fencing on the Southern Border

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Posted: Feb 13, 2020 5:50 PM
US Military to Fulfill New DHS Request to Build More Fencing on the Southern Border

Source: Airman 1st Class Daniel Hernandez/DOD

The Department of Defense announced on Thursday they will be fulfilling a new request from the Department of Homeland Security to add more miles of fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border. The fencing will be constructed specifically to block drug-smuggling corridors.

"Consistent with the President's April 4, 2018, direction to the Secretary of Defense, DoD used its statutory authority to provide support that aids in blocking drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States," DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell said.

"Last month we received a new request from the Department of Homeland Security asking for assistance in blocking drug-smuggling corridors on Federal land along the southern border of the United States. In response, the Secretary of Defense authorized support of $3.8B to build approximately 177 miles of fencing that will help to protect our borders," Mitchell explained. "We will continue to support DHS and other agencies as needed to keep our homeland is secure."

Trump ordered active-duty troops, in addition to National Guardsmen, to the southern border in 2018 to reinforce ports of entry and construct physical barriers along the border in response to large migrant caravans trying to enter the United States. 

While touring the southern border in November for Townhall, I was told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that most of the duties being performed by active duty troops include surveillance, freeing up more agents to make apprehensions when people cross illegally. This was critical as in some areas, such as the Laredo Sector, there are no physical barriers on the U.S. side of the border.