In the President’s first campaign, his (now convicted) aide Roger Stone wanted him to remember to attack immigrants in his stump speeches so the “build the wall” chant was born as a memory device for the neophyte and forgetful candidate. Since then, “Mr. Trump’s central campaign promise as a presidential candidate” (according to the Wall Street Journal) has become his all encompassing obsession, leading to, among other things, a 35-day partial government shutdown last year.
The latest border wall development is that the Trump administration will divert $7.2 billion in taxpayer money allotted to the military and narcotics interdiction to build his wall, according to the Washington Post. This is in addition to the $3.6 billion taken from Pentagon spending last year against the wishes of Congress; a move that was recently affirmed by a Fifth Circuit court ruling. In December, Congress allocated a fraction of the $7.2 billion amount to Trump for his wall, but given the greenlight by the court and in an insatiable desire to feed border wall progress to his political base, President Trump has doubled down and doubled the amount he is taking from military and drug interdiction for his wall.
According to Deputy Director of America’s Voice Pili Tobar, “This seems like a $7 billion infusion of cash for Trump’s re-election campaign. The wall is racist, xenophobic and a thoroughly ineffective and wasteful policy on its face. Now, as troops are being mobilized, the war drums are being beaten and American communities are facing an unprecedented drug overdose crisis, it is even more outrageous for Trump to double down on raiding funds to pay for his wall. At the same time that Trump is leading us into potential armed conflict with Iran, he’s diverting crucial funding from the military and military families to fund his 2,000 mile-long vanity project. The majority of both the House and the Senate have already rebuked Trump for this ploy, but now he is literally doubling down and doubling the amount.”
According to America’s Voice Campaigns Director Mario Carrillo, “Trump is using military funds to seize private land from Texans in order to deliver on a racist campaign promise. We already know two things to be true: border residents don’t want the wall, and it won’t work anyway. Think of what $7.2 billion could fund — more immigration judges, real courts for those seeking asylum and fighting deportation, as well as providing aid to help the countries people are fleeing from. This is a blatant admission that Trump doesn’t want to fix the actual issues at hand, he just wants to keep brown people out, while feeding his supporters generous helpings of division and xenophobia ahead of an election.”