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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border, a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.

The shifting of Pentagon funds to build the border wall has proven controversial and has been met by congressional opposition and a court challenge.

Esper’s approval of additional fencing was confirmed by a court documents relating to that challenge and by Defense officials.

The Pentagon had previously approved $2.5 billion in funds to be reprogrammed into the Defense Department’s counter-drug account which is authorized to spend money on border barrier construction for the purpose of blocking “drug-smuggling corridors.”

While then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had earlier approved some 135 miles of fencing requested by the Department of Homeland Security in the Yuma, El Paso and Tucson sectors, the cost of constructing that section of the border wall was less than originally anticipated, freeing up funds to support the additional 20 miles approved Monday. Read more

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border, a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border, a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border, a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border, a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.