After 2 months, the donations had petered out about $1 million. However the initiative saw a major boost in August.

through James Barragán Sept. 2, 20215 AM main


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A border wall near the U.S. And Mexico border in Del Rio top top July 22, 2021 Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
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Gov. Greg Abbott"s initiatives to raise personal funds to develop a wall along the Texas-Mexico border surged in August, from about $1 million at the start of the month to an ext than $54 million through its end.

In June, Abbott announced a fundraising website where people could donate to aid pay because that the barrier. 2 months right into the effort, donations had actually leveled turn off at around $1.25 million — a fall in the bucket contrasted to the soaring costs associated with the enormous project. However the initiative saw a major jump in the second fifty percent of August, v donations jumping to almost $19 million by Aug. 27 and then topping $54 million through Aug. 31.

Renae Eze, an Abbott spokesperson, claimed the governor is grateful for the support from across Texas and the entire nation as the state “fills the gap created by chairman Biden and steps up to secure our southern border.”


“In less than eight months, chairman Biden’s dangerous and reckless open up border policies have actually led come a disaster follow me our southern border, v 21-year record-high number of illegal immigrant surging right into our country,” Eze stated in a statement. “While the Biden administration may no prioritize the sovereignty the our nation or the safety of ours people, Americans clearly do.”

It is no yet clean what caused the run in donations or that is behind the practically $53 million that poured right into the effort in the second fifty percent of the month. Abbott’s office has a website that provides occasional updates on the full funds raised but does not voluntarily carry out information around individual donors. The Texas Tribune has actually filed an open up records inquiry for the names of the donors. A evaluation by the Tribune the the first week that donors showed much more than 3,300 individual donations native June 10-17 through the highest possible gift gift $5,000.

Meanwhile, experts have expressed issue with the absence of transparency for the border wall crowdfunding effort.

It remains to it is in seen exactly how much border wall surface the donations would pay for. An existing contract vested by the Texas room of transport in June is collection to salary $25 million for a nearly 2-mile stretch of “concrete barrier” along State Loop 480 in Eagle Pass. Yet costs for the wall"s building and construction may vary depending upon the area wherein the state is building.


Portions of the federal border wall surface started by the trump administration, and also put on organize by the Biden administration, ranged indigenous $6 million per mile come $34 million per mile because that construction. Abbott"s office stated it has determined 733 mile of border that may need some form of barrier.

But private donors won"t be the only ones footing the bill. Top top Wednesday, the Legislature sent a bill allocating $1.88 exchange rate in additional funds toward border defense to Abbott’s desk to be signed into law. About $750 million of those dollars will go straight toward structure the border wall, and also concrete barriers and temporary fences.

Still, the $54 million the effort has raised have surpassed expectations because that many. A similar effort by the Arizona Legislature come raise funds because that the building and construction of a border fence raised just $270,000 in 3 years.

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor at the Scharr institution of Policy and also Government at George Mason University, said the amount raised by Abbott"s crowdfunding efforts was noteworthy due to the fact that of failure in various other recent efforts to use exclusive funds for a border wall.


“It is surprising in part regard that civilization are making use of their money to fund a project prefer this knowledge the reality that in the recent past efforts like this had actually resulted in fraud and in building and construction that has actually been damaged to some extent since of the absence of capacity of those who developed it,” she said, referring to the conservative nonprofit We develop The Wall, i beg your pardon raised exclusive funds because that a border wall surface and included former trump political torture Steve Bannon as a plank member.

Bannon and Brian Kolfage, the group"s leader, were accused through the federal government of looting the charity for an individual gain in august 2020. Bannon was later pardoned through Trump.

One of the privately sponsor border walls the group helped fund in southern Texas showed signs of erosion critical year and was in risk of falling right into the Rio Grande, follow to engineers and hydrologists.

But Correa-Cabrera stated that the multimillion-dollar invest for a border wall surface reflected some Americans" perception the immigrants room a hazard to the country and also the federal government is not addressing the issue. She stated those sentiments are frequently fueled by political leaders to north up support for their cause.


“Building a wall is not going to protect the nation from drug trafficking, from the enntrance gate of drugs from southern of the continent and it doesn’t stop immigrants getting here to the southern of the united States,” she said. “What’s happening is symbolic and also it’s a prize of how split the country is follow me the lines of immigration.”

Jill Fleuriet, an sociology professor at the university of Texas at mountain Antonio, claimed the border is frequently cast as a “political bogeyman” that"s full of danger, i m sorry is the only method many Americans ever hear the regions like South Texas.

“It shows the enduring strength of this border as a threat and also lawlessness,” Fleuriet said. “When the fact is, it’s not.”

But Kevin Roberts, chief executive, management officer that the conservative Texas Public plan Foundation, claimed the border wall donations reflect a feeling by many Americans that the Biden administration"s immigration enforcement has actually been lacking.


Roberts stated a wall could it is in an efficient deterrent come migrants if that was merged with various other actions, consisting of the deployment of personnel come the border come enforce immigration law and solid messaging indigenous state and national leaders that migrants should not effort the trip to the joined States. That said barriers help complimentary up immigration enforcement employee to other locations where they might be an ext helpful in staying clear of illegal entries.

“If the federal federal government isn’t act its task to defend the citizen of the state, then that state has actually the obligation to perform so,” Roberts said.

Disclosure: Texas publicly Policy structure and college of Texas at san Antonio have actually been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news company that is sponsor in part by donations from members, foundations and also corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no duty in the Tribune"s journalism. Find a complete list of castle here.

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