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acting US defense secretary Patrick Shanahan made his second trip to the U. S. Mexico border on Saturday as the Pentagon looks to develop a longer term plan to support president Donald trump's immigration policies Jenna hand traveled to McAllen Texas to meet with officials and visit a migrant processing facility and border patrol station the visit comes two days after the White House announced trumps intention to nominate the former Boeing executive as defense secretary this is an invasion trump has been eager to have the military play a larger role on the border they are currently about forty five hundred US service members on the border and they're authorized to be there through September on Friday the Pentagon said Shanahan approved the transfer of one point five billion dollars to build more than eighty miles of barriers on the border part of a patchwork project after trump failed to secure funding from Congress for complete border wall lawmakers have hinted they may respond by putting new restrictions on the Pentagon's authority to move money around