Trump’s Proposed Spending Plans Generous to Military, Border Needs | NBC Southern California

Trump’s Proposed Spending Plans Generous to Military, Border Needs

From folks going between the U.S. and Mexico on Thursday, thoughts shared with NBC 7 about the president's border budget were mixed.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Defense spending already accounting for upwards of 20 percent of the local economy, and a boost in border defense budget could bring that number up further. NBC 7'e Gene Cubbison has the details. 

    (Published Thursday, March 16, 2017)

    The national defense budget hike of $54 billion proposed by President Donald J. Trump figures to have a resounding impact on San Diego County.

    This region is teeming with military bases and contractors, with defense spending already accounting for upwards of 20 percent of the local economy.

    Border enforcement also could get billions of dollars more.

    For starters, the San Diego-Tijuana "port of entry" is the busiest in the western hemisphere.

    Border Patrol agents will tell you they're understaffed and overworked -- needing reinforcements and more infrastructure.

    To fight illegal immigration, the new Administration in Washington wants to invest $4.5 billion in new spending in the coming fiscal year.

    Among the many proposed outlays are resources for 500 more Border Patrol agents, a thousand Customs Enforcement people and plenty of court-related officials to detain, process and remove lawbreakers.

    From folks going between the U.S. and Mexico on Thursday, thoughts shared with NBC 7 about the president's border budget were mixed.

    “We should be focusing more on education and internal affairs rather than external, especially along the border,” said San Ysidro resident Manuel Calderon. “We've got a good enough system. If it changes, it should change over time but not dramatically. What we should focus on right now is education."

    Ike Cravens, an American who lives in Tijuana, had this to say about the Trump border budget proposal: “It's just to protect from illegals coming over. Now legals -- if you do things the right way, you're invited over here. You can come live over here, just like I live over there. I got all my paperwork for living over there."

    The chief executive’s vision of a border wall to behold is proposed to get $2.6 billion dollars in startup money, less than 10 percent of the project’s current estimated cost.

    This reaction came from Valencia resident Rogelio Sierra: "If you put in this wall, in two or three years, everybody knows -- this money is thrown away."

    Meantime, in a written statement sent to NBC 7, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, CEO of San Diego-based "Project Concern International," expressed worries about proposed cuts to Agriculture Department funding that her company puts toward hunger and education programs.

    She said cuts to humanitarian causes "will compromise the development gains of recent years and weaken our own security and global leadership."