Section of President Trump’s Border Wall to Get New Paint - NBC Chicago
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Section of President Trump’s Border Wall to Get New Paint

Sen. Dick Durbin called the wall-painting a “disgraceful misuse” of taxpayer money



    Section of President Trump’s Border Wall to Get New Paint
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    In a mission to “improve the aesthetic appearance” of President Donald Trump’s wall, active-duty troops will begin painting a stretch of border fence as part of a military deployment to secure the border at a time when tens of thousands of Central American families have been arriving in the U.S. and overwhelming the immigration system.

    Border Patrol spokesman Carlos Pitones said troops will begin painting a one-mile section in Calexico, California, about 120 miles east of San Diego on Friday. The wall there has 30-foot-high rust-colored steel slats that were erected last year — the first border barriers built under Trump’s presidency. Pitones declined to say which color they would be painted.

    Sen. Dick Durbin called the wall-painting a “disgraceful misuse” of taxpayer money.

    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.

    Trump Walks Back FBI Critique on Foreign Dirt Comments

    [NATL] Trump Walks Back FBI Critique on Foreign Dirt Comments, Says Would Turn Over to Authorities
    President Trump is flipping the script on foreign election interference, after telling ABC News that he’d consider taking foreign dirt on a political opponent. The president clarified his previous statement on Fox News, saying that “there isn’t anything wrong with listening” to such intelligence, and that “of course” he’d contact the authorities if a foreign power offered it to him.”
    (Published Friday, June 14, 2019)

    The troops have been performing tasks such as installing concertina wire, providing logistical and helicopter support to Customs and Border Protection agents and monitoring motion cameras for signs of activity on the border. They cannot detain migrants or have much direct contact with them. If they encounter immigrants, they typically direct them to the nearest Border Patrol agent.

    With the constraints, the troops have had little direct involvement in stopping the flow of migrants that is reaching new levels each month. Border Patrol agents made 132,887 apprehensions in May, including a record of nearly 85,000 adults in children. Photos of families waiting in jam-packed cells and in outdoor enclosures have generated outrage, and six children have died in the last year after being detained by border agents.

    Department of Homeland Security said the primary purpose of the paint job is “to improve the aesthetic appearance of the wall” but noted that the new color could make it easier to spot migrants trying to blend in against the fence. The government also says a painted fence could make it harder for immigrants to scale, likely because the new coat made it more slippery.

    The government made that determination after Customs and Border Protection earlier painted sections of barrier in Arizona. Some sections there were painted bright white.

    Sgt. Dale Galloway, an artilleryman who has served tours in Afghanistan and the Middle East, has been serving on a surveillance team on the border since February in the active-duty deployment.

    He said that when a record group of more than 1,000 migrants crossed the border recently, he was sitting in his truck monitoring infrared and optical cameras mounted on the bed.

    Congress Takes on 'Deepfakes' Leading Up to 2020 Election

    [NATL] Congress Takes on 'Deepfake' Videos s Leading Up to 2020 Election

    Deepfakes, doctored videos with one face realistically superimposed on another, gained attention and alarm from lawmakers leading up to the 2020 presidential elections in an era that saw instant fallout from other altered videos of celebrities and politicians. 

    (Published Friday, June 14, 2019)

    “I saw it first,” said Galloway. “My first thought was to contact CBP.”

    Galloway is not allowed to arrest migrants. He said that migrants have approached him about 10 times during his deployment. He directs them to the nearest Border Patrol agent so that they can turn themselves in.