Misuse of Military Funding for Border Wall Impacts Readiness, Undermines Congress, Solves Nothing

Washington, D.C.—In response to the diversion of $3.6 billion in funds from 127 military projects for construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First’s Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:

The president is trying to pull an end-around on Congress and he shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Not only is this transfer a cynical manipulation of the system, by defunding these projects—projects that would support military installations at home and abroad—the White House is mistreating military personnel and undermining their readiness. The American people want sound and measured plans to handle the humanitarian crisis at the border, those plans do not include hamstringing the military.

In June, Human Rights First welcomed provisions in the House of Representatives’ defense bill (The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA) that bolster national security and uphold America’s commitment to human rights. In part, the bill prohibits the use of national defense funds and military construction funding to build a wall on the southern border, it also restricts the use of military personnel and funding for other immigration-related purposes.

Later that month the organization, in partnership with more than a dozen organizations with refugee and regional human rights expertise, released a blueprint offering concrete steps to manage the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border and to address the damage the Trump Administration’s mismanagement of it has caused.

“Reallocating funds meant to support our military for what amounts to a vanity project is not sound governance. We are dealing with national security crises with regard to everything from gun violence to extremism and nuclear non-proliferation and climate change,” added Garrison. “To not only focus attention but shift military construction funding to an effort experts contend will not affect the root causes or flow of mass migrants is malpractice in governance.”


Published on September 4, 2019


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