The same day immigration officials reported that illegal border crossings continued to surge in April, the acting defense secretary told Congress the Pentagon has redirected enough money to build 256 miles of barriers along the southwestern border, including 63 miles within six months, The New York Times reports. The secretary, Patrick Shanahan, told the Senate Appropriations Committee the administration is committed to building the border wall without congressional authorization, despite pending court challenges.
Immigration officials, in separate testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued that congressional action was needed to counter what Carla L. Provost, the chief of the Border Patrol, called “off the charts” numbers of people detained. In April, immigration officials said, 109,144 migrants were detained crossing the border without permission, bringing the total number of unauthorized crossings this year to 460,294. More than half of the monthly arrests were people in families.