When President Trump declared a national emergency to secure the funds he needed to build a physical wall along the southern border with Mexico, the declaration did not simply create $8 billion. Instead, it merely allowed the President to reallocate the funds from other sources of government money.
A new report indicates that a sizeable chunk of that money will come from drug enforcement programs in Oregon and Washington.
President Declares National Emergency to Move Money to Wall Project
The President's declaration that illegal immigration amounted to a national emergency that necessitated immediate action on the southern border has dominated the news cycle for weeks. Simply put, President Trump is attempting to use his executive powers to bypass Congress and secure the $8 billion he claims is necessary to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
What has been overlooked, though, is where that $8 billion would come from. The emergency declaration does not give the executive branch the ability to take money from anywhere it wants – the funds have to be earmarked for particular types of projects.
One of those sources of potential funding is the Department of Defense and its programs to upgrade military facilities. Another is the Department of Defense's funding for states to combat drug trafficking.
Drug Trafficking Enforcement in Washington to Take a Hit
According to reports by Governing, $2.5 billion of the $8 billion being taken to build the wall will come from the Department of Defense. While the vast majority of this money has been earmarked for military construction projects, a portion of it is meant to fund military anti-drug programs.
One of those anti-drug projects is the National Guard's Counterdrug Program, a federal project that connects and funds state agencies and helps them detect interstate drug trafficking and enforce state and federal drug laws. In 2018, the program provided approximately $200 million to states across the nation for these efforts. The program's investment in drug enforcement confiscated an estimated $11.2 billion in illegal drugs.
In 2018, Washington received $2.14 million in funding through the National Guard's program. How much of that money stands to be reallocated to the border wall has not yet been set in stone.
Other anti-drug programs at the federal level are also likely to be cut in order to fund the construction of the wall.
Drug Defense Lawyer Steve Karimi Serves Seattle
News that federal funding for the enforcement of drug laws in Washington and Seattle is not all good. Prosecutors and law enforcement are now going to be more likely to stretch their thin resources to the straining point in an attempt to keep performing at their current level. The result will likely be shoddy investigative work that puts innocent people in serious legal trouble. Worse, it can also lead to a prosecutor's tenacity to get convictions on every one of the charges that their drug enforcement teams do manage to file.