With or without Congress’ blessing, the Trump administration is moving money around to fund the construction of a wall in Laredo — and they’re acting quickly.
In his meeting with Laredo officials this week, Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was upfront about the “different pockets of money” they have to fund wall construction in Laredo, according to Mayor Pete Saenz.
“He was clear. ‘We’ve got the money, we’re moving forward, whether you cooperate or not,’” Saenz recalled of their conversation. “… I thought we had more leverage going in, but apparently not.”
And Webb and Zapata counties are wall-free and ripe for the taking as far as the Department of Homeland Security is concerned. This stretch of riverfront is their first priority for new wall construction.
Even as Trump’s ability to use budgeted military funding for wall construction has been shot down by two federal district judges, officials are planning to use more of this money plus counternarcotics funding to get the wall built in and around Laredo, according to Rep. Henry Cuellar.
Plus, Congress is lined up to appropriate another $1.4 billion for the border wall next week in order to avoid another government shutdown.
President Donald Trump is demanding that 450 miles of border wall be constructed in 2020, which would mark the fulfillment of his campaign promise in time for the November election.