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Calling Martha Stewart: US troops to paint border wall

AFP  |  Washington 

Fuchsia or camouflage? Flat black? Or good, old, red, white and blue? US troops are planning to paint the Mexico border wall "to improve the aesthetic appearance," the Department of Homeland Security says.

In an email to Congress Wednesday, DHS, which manages border matters, said that the military will spend the next month painting a section of the wall in California with the "primary purpose" of improving its looks.

DHS did not say what the color would be, but noted that "there may be an operational benefit" from painting the wall, which in most areas -- before artists, protestors and vandals spray-paint their own designs on it -- is the color of new or rusted steel.

In one stretch of wall in Arizona, DHS noted in the email, paint applied to the wall's steel bollards helped counter "camouflaging tactics" by border crossers trying to hide, according to the email.

An unanticipated benefit of that paint jobs, DHS said, made it harder for migrants to climb the wall.

Neither DHS nor the Pentagon had an immediate comment on the plan, which would build on President Donald Trump's emergency order to have the military help manage border operations dealing with undocumented migrants and use billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build more wall and refurbish existing barriers.

According to a Washington Post report last month, Trump told aides and DHS officials the wall should be painted heat-absorbing "flat black" to make the bollards too hot to climb in the desert sun.

But the new plan drew the ire of Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who tweeted Wednesday that it was a waste of public money.

"A disgraceful misuse of taxpayer $$. Our military has more important work to do than making Trump's wall beautiful," Durbin said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 06 2019. 20:30 IST