Troops deployed to the United States-Mexico border have been ordered to spend the next month painting a mile-long stretch of Trump’s border barrier to improve its “aesthetic appearance,” CBS News reports.
According to an email from the Department of Homeland Security to lawmakers, an “unspecified” number of troops the Trump administration sent to the border to battle what Trump calls a “border crisis” will paint barriers in Calexico, California for about 30 days.
"While the primary purpose is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the wall, there may also be an operational benefit based on our experience with painted barrier in Nogales, Arizona," the email said, according to CBS.
A Customs and Border Protection official confirmed the report to CBS News, adding that the cost of the paint and equipment will run about $150,000.
Border wall color becomes key sticking point:
DHS told Congress that painting the border barriers near Tucson, Arizona allowed agents to combat the "camouflaging tactics of illegal border crossers" and claimed that migrants appeared to have “greater difficulty” scaling painted fences near the border.
“Some barriers along the southwestern border, including in Nogales, have been painted white, a color which border officials say makes it easier for them to detect migrants compared to the typical brown color,” CBS News reported. “Last month, however, The Washington Post reported that President Trump was pressing officials to paint the barriers black so that they would absorb heat and become too hot for migrants to climb. CBP has not specified what color the Calexico border fences will be painted.”
Democrats slam Trump’s “disgraceful misuse” of funds:
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said the plan was a “disgraceful misuse” of taxpayer dollars.
“DHS informed Congress today that troops are going to spend the next month painting the border wall & ‘the primary purpose is to improve the aesthetic appearance,’” he tweeted. “A disgraceful misuse of taxpayer $$. Our military has more important work to do than making Trump’s wall beautiful.”
Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, agreed that it was a “gross misuse” of the military.
"These are soldiers, they are not painters," Castro told CBS News.