The deployment of National Guard Forces and U.S. troops to the border between the United States and Mexico, as proposed by the President, might end up costing at least $470 million in 2019, latest estimates show.
The Pentagon informed a week ago that it will extend the active-duty troops’ deployment until September 30, which is 289 additional days to the mission at the border.
According to Newsweek, the new estimates carried out by the independent and nonpartisan policy research institute – Center for Strategic Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), suggest that the extension will amount to at least $170 million in additional costs over what the Pentagon had previously announced.
“Altogether, the deployments of both active-duty and National Guard troops to the border could cost in the neighborhood of $410 million to $470 million during fiscal year 2019,” Travis Sharp, CSBA researcher for defense budget studies, told Newsweek.
Sharp said that the number could be significantly higher, however, if the Trump administration decided to boost the number of troops at the border over the coming months.
The U.S. leader had initially ordered more than 5,000 active-duty forces to be deployed to the southern border in late October as a caravan of Central American asylum seekers made its way toward the U.S. Since then, the number of troops stationed along the border has dropped to about 2,350, according to The Associated Press.
Trump posted on Twitter that “a big new Caravan is heading up to our Southern Border from Honduras.”
“Tell Nancy and Chuck that a drone flying around will not stop them,” he said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Only a Wall will work. Only a Wall, or Steel Barrier, will keep our Country safe! Stop playing political games and end the Shutdown!” Trump tweeted.
However, Democrats have kept their position solid by refusing to fund the $5.7 billion for Trump’s demands for the construction of his border wall.