Update: As of Jan. 8, the fund sits at $19.7 million.
A page on the GoFundMe fundraising site that is asking people to donate to pay for a wall along the southern border of the United States has raised more than $18.6 million in the two weeks since it was posted.
Kolfage, a Purple Heart recipient, ask contributors to help pay for the wall proposed by President Donald Trump when he was running for president.
“Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J. Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still,” Kolfage wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society,” he wrote.
The current partial government shutdown has grown out of the inability of Trump and members of Congress to agree on funding for a wall along the country’s southern border.
While the border wall account has been growing, there is a question as to whether the GoFundMe funds can be donated to the federal government to help build a wall.
Without congressional approval, the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that would fund such a wall, cannot accept money donated from private citizens.
According to the agency’s written policy, a federal law bans them from accepting “gifts” unless they are approved beforehand.
On the We the People Will Fund The Wall page, Kolfage said that the Trump administration had been contacted to “secure a point of contact where all the funds will go upon completion,” adding that “We will hold all funds and not release a single penny until we have all legal aspects covered to ensure our money goes only to the wall.”
According to Kolfage, he worked with Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Mississippi, who introduced a bill that would have the Treasury Department put the funds into savings bonds that would allow the donations to be used only for the border wall.
“This bill is a safe investment into the infrastructure and security of our country. During World War II, 85 million Americans purchased $185 billion in war bonds and financially supported our troops while they were defending our country. This legislation would allow for the patriots of today’s era to help support American security in the same way as previous generations,” Palazzo said.
In addition to Palazzo’s bill, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., introduced a bill creating a trust fund to "accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the United States and Mexico."
Rep. Warren Davison, R-Ohio, introduced a bill on Nov. 30 that would allow the Secretary of the Treasury ”to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the United States and Mexico and for other purposes.”
As of Wednesday, the fund sits just short of $18,625,000, making the page the second-most donated to during the year. In first place was Time’s Up Legal Defense, a page that collected more than $22 million for legal defense funds linked to the #MeToo movement. The movement that aimed at exposing sex discrimination in the workplace gained steam on social media during 2018.
Here’s a list of the top five GoFundMe pages for the past year.
1. Time’s Up Legal Defense
Began in December 2017, the page has raised more than $22 million for legal defense funds to combat sex discrimination in the workplace.
2. We the People Will Fund The Wall
More than $18 million has been donated to help build a wall along the southern border.
3. Funds for Humbolt Broncos
The GoFundMe page collected $15 million for families of the victims of a bus crash that killed members of a Canadian hockey team.
4. March for Our Lives
Tens of fundraising pages followed the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. More than $3.5 million was raised.
5. Houses for Rohingya Refugees
Myanmar refugees, forced from their homes by Buddhist extremists, arrived in Bangladesh and are in camps. A GoFundMe page raised $2.1 million.
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