The Pentagon will spend up to $1 billion to build 57 miles of fencing along the Mexican border, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced.

Shanahan authorized the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers to plan and build the 18-foot-high fencing, construct and upgrade roads and install lighting in the Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.

Shanahan said the efforts was in support of the national emergency declaration President Donald Trump issued last month for the southern border. Trump issued the declaration after Congress refused to appropriate the $5.7 billion he wanted for construction of the wall. 

Shanahan cited the need to "block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of federal law enforcement agencies."

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