WashPost: Donald Trump Demands Cost Estimates for Painting the Border Wall

Border Wall Construction -- CBP Photo
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

President Donald Trump has asked contractors to provide price estimates for painting the border wall with sun-absorbing black paint, according to the Washington Post.

The May 6 report says:

The Post obtained a copy of painting estimates that federal contracting officials produced, and it shows costs ranging from $500 million for two coats of acrylic paint to more than $3 billion for a premium “powder coating” on the structure’s 30-foot steel bollards, the high end of the options the officials have identified.

However, the Washington Post repeatedly suggests that Trump has actually ordered the money be spent to paint the wall:

President Trump is once more pushing to have his border wall painted black, a design change that is projected to add at least $500 million in costs, according to government contracting estimates obtained by The Washington Post.

Trump has not let go of the idea, insisting that the dark color will enhance its forbidding appearance and leave the steel too hot to touch during summer months. During a border wall meeting at the White House last month [in April] amid the coronavirus pandemic, the president told senior adviser Jared Kushner and aides to move forward with the paint job and to seek out cost estimates, according to four administration officials with knowledge of the meeting.

“POTUS has changed his mind and now wants the fence painted. We are modifying contracts to add,” said one official involved in the construction effort who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired.

The Post‘s focus on border-wall paint “is just Trump-hating porn,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “The reason this story gets traction [in the media] is because it resonates with our [D.C.] leadership class which opposes border control of any kind,” he said.

“How the government should deal with the mechanics of border-wall construction …  is just another opportunity to attack the bad orange man,” partly because it allows reporters and D.C. elite to ignore more important issues, such as Trump’s rejection of popular demands for curbs on the lucrative inflow of blue-collar and white-collar guest workers, he said.

Overall, Trump’s lengthening border wall has helped to sharply reduce blue-collar migration from Central America.

This reduction is made possible by a series of legal measures that have ended the catch and release of migrants.

These measures include diplomatic deals that allow agency officials to quickly fly migrants back to other countries in Central America, so preventing the migrants from getting the U.S. jobs they need to pay off smuggling debts to the cartel-backed coyotes.

Trump’s deputies are promising to have 500 miles of border fencing completed in early 2021.

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