Citizens group “We Build the Wall” constructs private fence on southern border

Thursday, May 30, 2019
By Paul Martin

CBSNews.com
May 30, 2019

At the southern border, a group says it’s moving ahead with plans to build a private border wall in southwestern New Mexico. It’s using millions of dollars from a crowdfunding campaign to close a border gap that the group says is popular with asylum seekers.

Local officials say the project lacks the necessary permits, and issued a cease-and-desist order on Tuesday, though crews plan to continue working around the clock to complete it by the end of the week.

The group known as “We Build the Wall” declared victory, saying they’re now effectively protecting a popular passage the immigrants use to enter the U.S. illegally.

“It was a highly trafficked area,” Brian Kolfage said, looking at the wall. The project is being spearheaded by Kolfage, a triple amputee veteran. He created the GoFundMe page that has raised more than $23 million.

“How much money is being spent on this section here?” CBS News’ David Begnaud asked.

“This one, it’s still ongoing but it’s going to be around six to eight million dollars,” Kolfage responded, sitting in front of the wall.

Kolfage is as controversial as the wall. In fact, on Wednesday a Miami radio station reported Florida’s Department of Agriculture confirmed the state is investigating the fund after receiving consumer complaints.

“So what do you say to the critics?” Begnaud asked him.

“If we were doing anything wrong, GoFunde would shut this down in a heartbeat,” Kolfage responded.

“Who does manage the money that’s been donated?”

“We have an internal audit committee and we have an external audit agency and we can’t spend any money without getting approval,” he said.

The wall is being built on privately owned land with permission from the owner and is backed by people like Steve Ronnebeck, who says his son, Grant, was murdered by an illegal immigrant.

“I represent every victim of illegal alien crime,” Ronnebeck said.

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