Private group begins construction of border wall with money raised on GoFundMe: 'Buckle up, we're just getting started!'
We Build the Wall, founded by a triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, wrote a series of post on social media on Monday, saying it had started construction of the wall on private property in New Mexico.
A private group that made headlines earlier this year for raising millions in a GoFundMe campaign in an attempt to fund President Donald Trump's border wall has reportedly begun working on its own stretch of the border wall on private property.
The group, known as We Build the Wall, founded by a triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, wrote a series of post on social media on Monday, saying it had started construction of the wall on private property in New Mexico.
The announcement comes months after the group started its campaign last year in December to raise private donations for a border wall. The campaign was initiated days after a federal judge blocked Trump from tapping billions of dollars of the Department of Defense funds for the border wall with Mexico. The ongoing campaign has raked in more than $20 million in donations.
The group, in a Facebook post, wrote: "Buckle up, we're just getting started!" as it shared images of construction over the weekend. The construction is taking place at a site near the New Mexico-Texas state line near El Paso, according to CNN.
Former Kansas secretary of state and longtime immigration hardliner, Kris Kobach, spoke to the outlet over the construction noise, saying: "It's amazing to me how crowdfunding can successfully raise a lot of money, and how many Americans care about this."
Kobach, who is now general counsel for We Build the Wall group, said that a half-mile stretch of wall on the site is nearly finished, with an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million. Fisher Industries is reportedly the main contractor working at the site. Trump has reportedly been advocating for the North Dakota-based company to be awarded government contracts to build the border wall, according to reports.
Jeff Allen, on whose property We Build the Wall's team is working, told CNN he's excited to see the construction.
"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."
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly the chair of We Build the Wall's advisory board. Bannon, while talking to the outlet on Monday, said that the stretch of private wall connects two 21-mile sections of existing fencing.
"Border Patrol told us it's the No. 1 most important miles to close. The tough terrain always left it off the government list," Bannon said. "And that's what we focus on -- private land that is not in the program and take the toughest first."