Leverage: DHS Given 30 Days to Identify 'All Sources' of Funding to Mexico

Craig Bannister | February 22, 2017 | 11:39am EST
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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. John Kelly has ordered a report detailing and totaling “all sources” of U.S. taxpayer money given to the government of Mexico over the past five years – and it’s due in 30 days.

Kelly demanded the report Wednesday in a DHS memo calling for “Border Wall Construction and Funding,” in an apparent effort to gain leverage with Mexico to garner support for the wall on the southern border:

C. Identifying and Quantifying Sources of Aid to Mexico

“The President has directed the heads of all executive departments to identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico. Accordingly, the Under Secretary for Management shall identify all sources of direct or indirect aid and assistance, excluding intelligence activities, from every departmental component to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis, for the last five fiscal years, and quantify such aid or assistance. The Under Secretary for Management shall submit a report to me reflecting historic levels of such aid or assistance provided annually within 30 days of the date of this memorandum.”

Mexico has opposed the wall and refused to pay for it, but “payment” may be obtained by withholding future financial assistance, if Mexico doesn’t cooperate.

Again, in the section of Kelly’s memo calling for the border wall, the DHS commissioner and undersecretary for management are ordered to identify “all sources of available funding” to pay for it:

F. Border Wall Construction and Funding

“The Under Secretary for Management, in consultation with the Commissioner of CBP shall immediately identify and allocate all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, and develop requirements for total ownership cost of this project, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current fiscal year (e.g., supplemental budget requests) and subsequent fiscal years.”

The border wall will cost $12-15 billion, according to the New York Post. USA Today estimates the U.S. gives $320 million a year in aid to Mexico. 

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