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Troops to paint US-Mexico border fencing in Calexico

Posted at 11:17 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 08:17:22-04

CALEXICO, Calif. (KGTV) - The international barrier between the United States and Mexico will be getting a new paint job this summer.

Troops will spend roughly one month painting parts of a mile-long span of border fencing in Calexico, according to an email sent by the Department of Homeland Security to members of Congress.

The cost is reportedly $150,000 for the paint and equipment, but the color has not been announced.

DHS officials added that that there may be an “operational benefit” to painting it as “individuals appeared to have greater difficulty” scaling recently painted bollards in Nogales, Arizona.

Roughly 100 members of the National Guard will be applying the anti-climbing coat to the border barrier.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin panned the idea on Twitter, saying: “A disgraceful misuse of taxpayer $$. Our military has more important work to do than making Trump's wall beautiful.”

Mike Matzke, president of the local Border Patrol union in the Imperial Valley, where the fence would go, said, “There are plenty of things the Border Patrol needs right now more than a colored fence. Our process areas are overflowing, you can probably put the money in diapers or juice boxes.”

The project is expected to last 30 days.

The Associated Press reported there are about 2,100 active-duty Marines and Army troops are on the border, along with an additional 1,900 National Guard members sent there by governors around the country. They are part of an aggressive use of Pentagon resources by Trump to secure the border, including his declaration of a national emergency that freed up billions of Defense Department dollars to build his long-promised wall.