President Donald Trump recent diversion of Defense Department appropriations to spend on the Mexico border wall he promised in his campaign may hit some U.S. Virgin Islands projects, Delegate Stacey Plaskett said in a statement Wednesday.
“News that the Administration will be diverting $3.6 billion from the Pentagon’s coffers to shore up the funding for his border wall is troubling. Taking these funds, which have been duly allocated by Congress, will ultimately affect the completion of numerous crucial projects across America, including the Virgin Islands,” Plaskett said.
“We are aware of approximately 3 maintenance projects in the Virgin Islands National Guard that will be impacted by the President’s decision. My office has informed Adjutant General Kodjo Knox-Limbacker regarding the projects in the Virgin Islands that are impacted,” she continued.
Congress’s spending authorization specifically prohibits spending the funds in this way and the U.S. Constitution gives Congress control over spending. But Trump declared a national emergency in February over illegal immigration and the administration is citing a law that gives the president broad power to divert funding in emergencies to authorize the move. While up over two years ago, undocumented immigration has been declining for a decade and remains well below 2010 levels.