When Brian Kolfage kicked off his GoFundMe campaign to help Donald Trump build the wall on the southern border, the buzz grew quickly. In a short period of time, he had raised roughly twenty million dollars with a huge wave of support on social media. That was last year, however, and the plan quickly started to evolve. Simply giving the money to the federal government for the specific purpose of wall construction somehow turned out to be more complicated than anticipated. (A bill aiming to have the Treasury Department set up a fund to receive such donations was reintroduced in January, but it’s been blocked by Democrats.)
Next, Kolfage said that the money would be used to construct sections of the wall on private land along the border. But months have passed and thus far there’s been no sign of any new wall construction. So where is all the money and what’s going to become of it? Some of the donors are growing suspicious. (Daily Beast)
Back in December, Washington state Trump supporter Joshua Greene donated a small amount of money to the crowdfunding effort to build a wall along the southern U.S. border. He wasn’t alone. The GoFundMe page to build the wall, to which he’d donated, was a sensation on the right in late 2018 and raised more than $ 20 million.
Organized by triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage, the campaign eventually morphed into a nonprofit called We Build the Wall, which promised to build portions of the wall on private land using the money it raised.
Months later, there’s no evidence that any construction has started, despite claims from Kolfage and his allies that construction would start in April. And now Greene is wondering what ever happened to that wall he was promised his dollars would fund?
“The lack of updates is very concerning,” Greene wrote in an email to Right Richter.
To be fair, it’s not as if there haven’t been any updates from Kolfage. Back in March, he said that construction was expected to begin “next month.” But April has come and gone with no new construction activity. More recently, he declared that construction was going to begin “very soon.” But he couldn’t reveal the details of precisely where and when because liberals would seek to block the effort before it began.
Personally, I think it’s too soon to hit the panic button. While I understand that there’s some natural skepticism about Kolfage’s integrity (having been involved in some scams in the past), there are a lot of people watching him very closely and we’re talking about a ton of money. If he had the audacity to try to abscond with it he would very likely wind up doing a significant amount of time in prison. So I very much hope that he’s acting in good faith here.
It’s also easy to see how complicated the situation is. While a noble goal, private citizens can’t just show up at any random spot on the border with bulldozers and cement trucks and start building something. Much of the border, particularly in Arizona, sits on federal land. Nothing is getting built there without the government being involved. And finding private land that’s either available for sale or owned by people willing to allow you to build has to be tricky.
You also need to find a significant stretch of land if you’re going to have any positive impact on the illegal immigration situation. Putting up a section of wall only stretching for a mile or so would be nothing more than a symbolic effort and a waste of the donors’ money. Nothing like this was ever going to be easy so it was bound to take time. Hopefully, Kolfage will remain good to his word and find a workable solution. In the meantime, more regular updates would be helpful in order to maintain the confidence of his supporters.