As Trump holds out for border wall funding from Congress, GoFundMe raises nearly $5 million in 3 days

  • A fundraiser to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has raised nearly $5 million in three days on the online platform GoFundMe.
  • While building a wall along the southern border was one of President Donald Trump's main campaign promises, his attempts to secure funding have so far been unsuccessful.
  • The fundraising page gives no clear indication of how exactly the donations will be used.
A migrant child sleeps while he is carried by family as fellow migrants, all part of the caravan of migrants who traveled from Central America with the intention of crossing into the U.S., walk to the border fence in order to cross into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico December 14, 2018.
Leah Mills| Reuters
A migrant child sleeps while he is carried by family as fellow migrants, all part of the caravan of migrants who traveled from Central America with the intention of crossing into the U.S., walk to the border fence in order to cross into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico December 14, 2018.

A fundraiser to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has raised nearly $5 million in three days on the online platform GoFundMe.

The fundraiser, titled "We The People Will Fund The Wall," was started by Brian Kolfage, an Iraq war veteran and triple amputee. Kolfage's personal website describes him as a motivational speaker.

"It's time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT!," Kolfage wrote on the fundraiser page. "It's up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling."

The fundraiser comes as the White House and Capitol Hill remain deadlocked over President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the government if Congress does not approve $5 billion in funding for a border wall.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 78,000 people had donated roughly $4.8 million to the GoFundMe campaign, which is still far shy of the $25 billion Trump himself has said is needed for the border wall. "If we can fund a large portion of this wall, it will jumpstart things and will be less money Trump has to secure from our politicians," Kolfage wrote.

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While building a wall along the southern border was one of the president's main campaign promises, his attempts to secure funding have so far been unsuccessful. Trump assured voters on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he has since walked backed that assertion and looked toward Congress for funding.

Most recently, the president has threatened to shut down the government unless Congress approves $5 billion for a border wall. Congress, on the other hand, is set to pass a short-term bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 that does not include any money for the wall. Trump has not said whether or not he will sign the bill, but he has recently taken a more restrained approach to his demands. "With so much talk about the Wall, people are losing sight of the great job being done on our Southern Border by Border Patrol, ICE and our great Military," he tweeted Thursday.

The GoFundMe page gives no clear indication of how exactly the donations will be used. "We have contacted the Trump Administration to secure a point of contact where all funds will go upon completion," Kolfage wrote. "When we get this information secured we will update."

Kolfage assured supporters that the fundraiser "is not a scam" because he is providing his real name and social media profiles. Last month, a New Jersey couple and homeless man were arrested for allegedly using a fake story to raise more than $400,000 on GoFundMe. The company's policy states that it will refund donors up to $1,000 each if "the campaign organizer doesn't deliver funds to the intended beneficiary."

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