/ Modified mar 11, 2020 9:53 a.m.

U.S. tries again to convince courts for military funds for border fences

At issue is $3.6 billion the Trump administration wants to divert from military construction projects to fund a border fence.

The Trump administration was in court Tuesday fighting a federal court decision that blocked the government from using money intended for the military to instead fund construction of a border fence.

At issue is $3.6 billion the Trump administration wants to divert from military construction projects to fund the president’s campaign cornerstone promise: a border fence.

Justice Department attorney Thomas Byron contends the military money is necessary because the fence project helps the military support Homeland Security.

“Because they serve as force multipliers. They permit the redeployment and the more efficient and effective use of military personnel and other resources," he told the three judge panel.

ACLU attorney Dror Ladin contends securing the border is a Homeland Security issue, not a military one.

“This is not a situation in which Congress is silent and we’re trying to puzzle out what can the Department of Defense do, what is its responsibility within our system. Congress has told us and that’s also why Congress funds border barriers through DHS appropriations," he said.

At stake are 11 areas along the border, including land owned by the Interior Department and the Barry Goldwater range in Arizona.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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