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Military Construction Necessary to Support the Use of the Armed Forces in Addressing the National Emergency at the Southern Border

SUBJECT: Military Construction Necessary to Support the Use of the Armed Forces in Addressing the National Emergency at the Southern Border

On February 15, 2019, in accordance with the National Emergencies Act, the President declared that a national emergency exists at the southern border requiring the use of the armed forces. This declaration made available, among other statutes, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, which authorizes the Secretary of Defense, without regard to any other provision of law, to undertake military construction projects not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency.

Based on analysis and advice from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and input from the Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of the Interior and pursuant to the authority granted to me in Section 2808, I have determined that 11 military construction projects (as listed in Attachment A) along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3 .6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency. These projects will deter illegal entry, increase the vanishing time of those illegally crossing the border, and channel migrants to ports of entry. They will reduce the demand for DoD personnel and assets at the locations where the barriers are constructed and allow the redeployment of DoD personnel and assets to other high-traffic areas on the border without barriers. In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively. In this respect, the contemplated construction projects are force multipliers.

To undertake these Section 2808 border barrier military construction projects, I approve the use of unobligated military construction funds within the total $3.6 billion amount appropriated for military construction projects listed in the attachments to the memorandum, and direct you to make these funds available in the manner outlined below to the Acting Secretary of the Army. Funding from projects that are outside of the United States ($1.8 billion detailed in Attachment B) should be immediately provided to the Acting Secretary of the Army for Section 2808 execution. Funding associated with military construction projects located in the United States (including U.S. territories) ($1.8 billion detailed in Attachment C) should be provided to the Acting Secretary of the Army once it is needed for obligation.

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