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Trump sending troops to the border will cost U.S. taxpayers $210 million, Pentagon says

The usage of hundreds of army troops to assist protected the Southwest border will value an estimated $210 million below present plans, the Pentagon advised Congress on Tuesday, at the same time as questions arose concerning the scope and period of the arguable undertaking.

The whole comprises $72 million for roughly five,900 active-duty troops offering give a boost to to Customs and Border Coverage, plus $138 million to this point for two,100 Nationwide Guard troops who’ve been appearing a separate border undertaking since April, in line with a file despatched to Congress on Tuesday however now not launched through the Pentagon.

Why Trump’s 5,200 troops can’t stop migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

A replica of the file was once received through The Related Press. After the AP printed its tale the Pentagon launched a remark confirming the active-duty portion of the deployments is estimated at $72 million. It didn’t point out the $138 million in Nationwide Guard prices.

WATCH BELOW: Trump warns of caravan ‘invasion’ forward of U.S. midterms

The whole would develop past the present mixed estimate of $210 million if the active-duty undertaking is prolonged past the present crowning glory date of Dec. 15. Officers mentioned an extension gave the impression most likely however had now not but been agreed upon.

The Pentagon additionally was once operating on a possible adjustment to the undertaking that may give the active-duty troops who’re working in Texas, Arizona and California the authority to shield Customs and Border Coverage staff if important. The troops, who come with army police, are recently approved to shield themselves.

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About 2,800 of the active-duty troops are in South Texas, a long way from the primary migrant caravan in Tijuana, Mexico, south of California. The motion of the Central American migrants into Mexico in October was once the said reason why that U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the army to offer give a boost to for Customs and Border Coverage.

Trump, who known as the migrant caravan an “invasion,” has been accused through critics, together with some retired army officials, of the use of the army deployment as a political instrument within the run-up to the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

WATCH BELOW: U.S. Marines lay barbed cord at border checkpoint

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, mentioned Tuesday the Pentagon’s value file displays the undertaking was once a “charade.”

“Those infantrymen spent weeks clear of house and the Pentagon wasted tens of millions of taxpayer bucks so President Trump may stoke fears of asylum seekers and check out to steer election effects,” she mentioned.

“The usage of our army women and men as political pawns to give a boost to an anti-immigrant schedule is a low level, even for this president.”

On Tuesday, Trump mentioned he was once positive the troops are glad to be at the border undertaking, even supposing it approach being clear of house over Thanksgiving.

“Don’t fear concerning the Thanksgiving. Those are tricky folks,” Trump advised newshounds earlier than flying to Florida for the vacation. “They know what they’re doing and so they’re nice and so they’ve completed a perfect task. You’re so apprehensive concerning the Thanksgiving vacation for them. They’re so proud to be representing our nation at the border the place in case you have a look at what’s going down, Mexico, the folks from Tijuana are announcing, wow those are tricky folks. They’re combating us.”

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If, as anticipated, the undertaking is prolonged past Dec. 14, no less than one of the crucial troops are most likely additionally to be away for Christmas.

Protection Secretary Jim Mattis has declined to publicly speak about value estimates for the border undertaking, announcing as just lately as ultimate week that he had little self belief within the accuracy of figures he had noticed so far.

“We will estimate prices all we would like, I’d wish to provide you with actual prices. Presently, I will’t give that to you,” Mattis advised newshounds ultimate Wednesday when he flew to Texas to peer the army’s paintings.

“It’s the price of deploying them, it’s the price of shifting their apparatus to the border, it’s gasoline prices, it’s all the ones forms of prices. So, I simply don’t need to get into one thing I will’t provide you with what I imagine with a bit of luck is correct.”

In its report back to Congress on Tuesday, the Pentagon mentioned it expects the deployment of five,900 active-duty troops via Dec. 15 to price $72 million, whilst including that the undertaking, which is now 3 weeks previous, continues to be being subtle. The price comprises $19 million for staff, $20 million for transportation of staff, apparatus and provides, $28 in working bills and $five million for concertina cord and different border barrier fabrics.

“The whole value of the operation has but to be decided and is determined by the full dimension, period and scope,” the file mentioned.

WATCH BELOW: Drone pictures displays migrants on the border in Tijuana

It mentioned that as of Nov. 14, about $14 million in precise bills for bills comparable to go back and forth, provides and transportation have been reported through the gadgets concerned.

The Nationwide Guard’s border undertaking, which is being performed through troops for a large number of states, has value an estimated $138 million as of Tuesday, the Pentagon file mentioned. That undertaking, involving about 2,100 troops, started in April.

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