The Border Wall GoFundMe Group Started Constructing A Barrier On Private Land
After changing direction over the course of their planning, the border wall GoFundMe group started construction on private land over Memorial Day Weekend. In an update to the fundraising page, which is managed by veteran Brian Kolfage, the group posted a video purporting to show the construction of a little under one mile of privately built fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"WE MADE HISTORY!" Kolfage wrote on Facebook on Monday. "Just under 1 mile over the weekend!"
The wall was reportedly constructed on private land in Sunland Park, New Mexico, according to local ABC affiliate KVIA. The news outlet reports that the wall's construction took place near Mt. Cristo Rey, where the group says they would like to build a platform for Border Control officers to survey the border.
Across social media platforms on Monday, Kolfage celebrated the wall's quick construction. "All the haters said it was impossible," he wrote on Twitter, daring opponents to criticize him.
The group raised funding for the wall's construction via a GoFundMe page, which remains actively accepting donations. Initially, money raised was to be donated to the federal government so that they might build a new border wall, themselves, as President Trump has proposed. But Kolfage changed his plans back in January, long before meeting the original $1 billion fundraising goal. Instead, Kolfage and his collaborators set up the nonprofit We Build The Wall, arguing that the new wall should actually be built privately, instead.
“Do you really think the Democrats in Congress will take the money you donated and put it toward the southern border wall? I doubt it," Kolfage said in a video update in January. "That’s why we are changing our mission from 'we fund the wall' to 'we build the wall.'"
The GoFundMe campaign has raised just over $22 million so far. Former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach works as general counsel for We Build the Wall, according to The Washington Times.
In a Monday tweet, Kobach said that "this half-mile section of privately-funded wall fills a gap in the El Paso metro through which 100 migrants per night were entering the country." (Kobach served as Trump's informal immigration and border security adviser during the 2016 presidential campaign, per his bio on the nonprofit's website.)
A few weeks ago, reports indicated that some of We Build the Wall's supporters were growing antsy, largely because many months had passed since the fundraising effort had gotten off the ground, but little had happened by way of actual wall construction. At the time, Kolfage said in a Facebook post that the lack of public information was intentional.
"There’s no update because we are remaining silent for a very good reason," he wrote. "You all will have the best present very soon."
On Monday, Kolfage made clear that the portion of wall built over Memorial Day weekend did not mark the end of the group's goals. In a Facebook post, he asked his supporters to continue sending donations. "We have many more projects lined up!" he wrote.
It was not immediately clear on Monday what those additional projects might be, or when they might come to fruition.