By Beatriz Alvarado, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Journalists from the USA TODAY NETWORK flew and drove the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border in search for answers. This is what they found. USA TODAY.
A GoFundMe campaign titled “We The People Will Fund The Wall” has raised more than $25 million and counting to build President Donald Trump’s border wall.
More than 270,000 people have pledged donations to the campaign created Dec. 16 by a “fundraising team” in Miramar, Florida, according to the campaign page.
Its initial goal of $200 million has been bumped to $1 billion.
“It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling,” according to the campaign page, which is attributed to Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage Jr. On Sept. 11, 2004, Kolfage became the most severely wounded airman to survive any war in U.S. history, according to reports.
But as USA Today has found sending money to the government isn’t as simple as writing a check to the Department of Homeland Security and asking that it be used for border wall construction, according to a USA Today report.
In fact, Homeland Security cannot even accept the money without the explicit approval of Congress. In its policy, the agency cites a federal law that states “gifts may not be accepted, used, or disposed of unless specifically permitted” by Congress.
“Before anything, Congress has to approve it,” said David Bier, a policy analyst at the libertarian-leaning CATO Institute.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News the administration is exploring “different” sources to pay for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, according to reports.
“There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border,” Sanders said.
Trump has demanded $5 billion to pay for the border wall he promised to build during his campaign, according to reports. Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to pass a spending measure or shut down some federal agencies.
“How will we get the funds to the right place?” Kolfage asks.
“We have contacted the Trump Administration to secure a point of contact where all the funds will go upon completion. When we get this information secured we will update. We have many very high-level contacts already helping.”
Kolfage, a staunch supporter of the Trump presidency, believes the crowdfunding campaign can reach its goal if everyone who voted for President Trump contributes.
“If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall,” Kolfage states on the GoFundMe page. “That equates to roughly $5 billion, even if we get half, that’s half the wall. We can do this.”
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