Congress Won’t Let Trump Build His Border Wall So A Group Of Citizens Spent $22 Million To Build An Illegal Wall In New Mexico
While Congress may have put a roadblock to President Trump’s proposed border wall, that hasn’t stopped a few from building their own barrier. An organization called We Build the Wall said that it built a half-mile wall at the border on private property in Sunland Park, New Mexico. The group raised millions of dollars in a GoFundMe campaign and says it’s just getting started on the project.
More than 300,000 people pitched in more than $20 million to fund money for the proposed barrier.
The project began last year when veteran Brian Kolfage started a campaign to get a border wall built with donations. The hope is the new project will help limit the flow of migrants trying to enter the United States near El Paso, which has seen a huge rise in illegal crossings.
Those that sit on the advisory board for We Build The Wall include Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former White House adviser Steve Bannon.
“It’s amazing to me how crowdfunding can successfully raise a lot of money, and how many Americans care about this,” Kobach told CNN.
Jeff Allen owns the property where We Build the Wall’s team is working on the wall. He told CNN that the construction is long overdue after years of him trying to stop migrants crossing on his property.
“They are doing an incredible job,” he said. “I have fought illegals on this property for six years. I love my country, and this is a step in protecting my country.”
The project is already facing some problems from state and local leaders questioning its legality.
Elected leaders in New Mexico and Texas see the project as a publicity stunt to advance a political message. Javier Perea, the mayor of Sunland Park, issued a cease-and-desist order because the group failed to obtain the required permits for the project.
“The city has not provided any permits, it has not approved of the construction that has gone up already,” Peter Ibardo, a city spokesperson, told The Texas Tribune. “They built the structure without authority or any building permits from the city.”
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham agrees with Perea that the construction of the wall comes with a personal agenda. She says this new barrier won’t do much to stop migrant families from entering the country.
“To act as though throwing up a small section of wall on private land does anything to effectively secure our southern border from human- and drug-trafficking or address the humanitarian needs of the asylum seekers and local communities receiving them – that’s nonsense,” she said in a statement.
The news comes a week after a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration can’t use federal emergency funds to build portions of the border wall.
In what has been a revolving story about funding for a new border wall, President Trump once again stopped by the courts. A federal judge granted an injunction this month stopping the Trump administration from redirecting funds for the wall using a national emergency declaration.
For now, it seems like U.S citizens will be ones trying to put together a new border wall while things get sorted out in court. The group wants to start construction on a second wall but there is no timetable or update if they will be legally allowed to do so.