The $20 million raised in a GoFundMe campaign for President Trump’s border wall will be refunded because the it failed to reach the $1 billion goal.
When starting the “We The People Will Fund The Wall” campaign in December, organizer and veteran Brian Kolfage told donors he would refund their money if the campaign didn’t reach the $1 billion goal, which is one-fifth of what Trump is asking from Congress to build the wall.
“I am honoring that commitment today. We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action,” Kolfage wrote Friday in an update.
Bobby Whithorne, director of North America Communications for GoFundMe, said donors will have to proactively opt to give the money to Kolfage; if they do nothing the money will automatically be returned April 11.
Kolfage said his “new plan for action” is to ask donors to give their donation to a new nonprofit called “We Build the Wall, Inc.”
“We are better-equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border,” Kolfage said. “Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less times, and for far less money, that the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.”
Kolfage said he and his team have already contacted landowners in Texas, and has enlisted a team of architects and engineers to begin the design process.
Some experts told The Intelligencer they were skeptical of a do-it-yourself wall-building project, but said it could be done in theory.
“If somebody wants to buy land and build a wall, more power to them I guess,” said David J. D’Angelo, the director of field research at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an expert on border security. “It would have zero impact on the real political issues at play. But it’s a free country. For now.”