A non-profit organization established to privately fund President Trump's southern border wall has completed nearly a mile-long section on private land near El Paso, Texas.
We Build The Wall - a nonprofit founded by triple amputee veteran Brian Kolfage, boasts former White House Chief Strategist and former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon as its director, while former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the effort's general counsel.
According to Kolfage, the segment took just three days to complete.
"It’s just under one mile long," he told the Daily Mail, adding "The wall starts at the Rio Grande River and goes up Mount Cristo Rey where the US Army Corps of engineers said it was impossible to build."
Kolfage said once everything is said and done, his organization will sell the wall, which cost between $6million and $8million to build, to the federal government for the bargain price of $1.
'We're going to sell this wall to them for $1 and release the title to them,' he said. 'We can't give the government the money because that's not the way it works. But we wanted to show the American people how to get this job done.' -Daily Mail
The people’s wall is unveiled! The first segment is nearly complete!! DONATE NOW to help fund more walls! https://t.co/1l5uXZe4Vz@DRUDGE @RealJamesWoods @RyanAFournier @BreitbartNews @DiamondandSilk @DonaldJTrumpJr @DeplorableChoir @LouDobbs @JudgeJeanine @DustinStockton pic.twitter.com/JJMVFcQzXV— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) May 27, 2019
We Build The Wall announced in a series of social media posts on Monday that construction had commenced on the Texas landowner's property, days after a federal judge blocked President Trump from tapping into billions in Pentagon funds to begin work on two of the highest-priority wall segments - one spanning 46 miles in New Mexico, while the other 5-mile section was slated for Yuma, Arizona.
"This is the first time any private organization has built border wall on private land," said former Kansas Secretary of State and general counsel for the wall project, Kris Kobach, who told Fox & Friends on Monday that the project was undertaken due to the "ridiculously large gap" near Mount Cristo Rey which drug and human smugglers have been entering the United States. Kobach added that the Army Corps of Engineers had previously deemed the strip of land too rugged for fencing.
"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 told CNN he owns the property where We Build the Wall's team is working, and he's excited to see it.
"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."
Daniel Garcia Salinas, the director of a nearby museum on the Mexican side of the border, told CNN the new wall went up rapidly over the weekend, changing the horizon behind the Museo Casa de Adobe.
Garcia said that when he had left the museum Friday afternoon there was no fencing there. By Saturday morning, he said, portions of new wall had been constructed.
"They moved very quickly," he said. -CNN
Bannon, meanwhile, told CNN on Monday that the stretch of private wall connects two 21-mile segments of existing fence.
"Border Patrol told us it's the No. 1 most important miles to close. The tough terrain always left it off the government list," said Bannon. "And that's what we focus on -- private land that is not in the program and take the toughest first."
"The whole idea is we want to supplement and complement what the federal government is doing," added Kobach. "We can complement it by closing the gap and making that wall in El Paso that much more effective."
I wonder if @BetoORourke has seen the big beautiful wall that @WeBuildtheWall put up in the El Paso area over the weekend? @mamendoza480 @BrianKolfage @DustinStockton #buildthewall #makeAmericagreatagain pic.twitter.com/isxnAPa9xu— Jennifer L Lawrence (@JenLawrence21) May 27, 2019
Kolfage's GoFundMe project was established in December, and raised over $20 million in donations. The average donation was $67, with 300,000 people contributing according to Kobach. The project appeared to have stalled at one point, leading some to raise questions over what happened to the funds.
Recent reports detailed how some donors questioned why they hadn't seen any construction despite the millions donated, but organizers said they had to keep plans secret to protect the project.
"Remember powerful people want to stop our progress, so to not tip anyone off we are radio silent!" Kolfage wrote in a Facebook post shared by the group earlier this month. "The (American Civil Liberties Union) would file a lawsuit to impede our wall success if they knew where and when."
On Monday, Kolfage hit back over Twitter, writing "All the haters said it was impossible!! Bahaha where ya at now?"
All the haters said it was impossible!! Bahaha where ya at now? https://t.co/tTUWhfWr3r@NoLongerIgnored @DonaldJTrumpJr @realDonaldTrump @TeamTrump @FoxNews @TrumpStudents @bennyjohnson @SebGorka @KayaJones @DeplorableChoir @DustinStockton @GOPLeader— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) May 27, 2019
Yes @willsommer & @grantstern you guys get the idiot of the century awards for #FAKENEWS! Let’s just say your articles didn’t age to well. like I said jokes on you scumbags.@dailybeast —> FAKENEWS @DustinStockton @Lrihendry @gatewaypundit @Rambobiggs @sethweathers pic.twitter.com/0o8Kqdpkzp— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) May 28, 2019