Pentagon cancels 3 border barrier projects over costs

The Defense Department has nixed three border barrier projects in Arizona over costs, according to a court document filed Monday.

The Pentagon on Aug. 26 authorized the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to undertake the additional projects to build fencing, infrastructure and lighting at the U.S.-Mexico border, the filing said.

Costs for seven other border projects were initially determined to be lower than expected, and USACE said in August that an additional 20 miles of border barrier could be built with the money saved, Politico reported. The three new projects were slated for Yuma and Tucson.

USACE has since “determined that there are insufficient contract savings to undertake the three additional" projects, the filing stated, and the Defense Department will not pursue them.

The U.S. Supreme Court in July ruled that about $2.5 billion could be redirected from the Pentagon’s counterdrug program for border security.

Earlier this month the Pentagon said it was diverting $3.6 billion in military construction funds for projects at the southern border. This included 127 projects across 23 states and 21 countries, as well as in the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

President Trump, a fierce advocate of a wall at the southern border, in February declared a national emergency in order to secure $6.5 billion in addition to what Congress had set aside for border security.

Trump continues to battle House Democrats, who have blocked the president's requests for more border barrier funding, over how much money should be allocated to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Illegal Immigration costs the USA over [$300 billion] a year. There is no reason for this, and things are being set in motion to have this number come way down,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Democrats could end Loopholes and it would be a whole lot easier, and faster. But it will all happen anyway!”

The president has promised to have about 500 miles of wall constructed along the country’s southern border with Mexico.

Last week he posted a video showing progress on the border wall, saying, “The Wall is going up very fast despite total Obstruction by Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere!”

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche, Lucas Tomlinson and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.