Once it became clear that Congress was not going to fund Donald Trump's proposed $5 Billion for his border wall, Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq, launched a GoFundMe page to raise $1 billion toward the wall.
In just a few days, the campaign had raised more than $14 million toward their goal.
Kolfage has used the hashtag #GoFundTheWall to advertise these efforts.
People who say we cant fund the wall privately are DEAD WRONG! A billionaire funded half the repairs of the Washin… https://t.co/ptfzTBgdUk— Brian Kolfage (@Brian Kolfage)1545237235.0
Another fundraising campaign popped up soon afterward, this one to fund ladders to get over the structure should it actually be built. This campaign has raised nearly $9,000 since it was created yesterday.
This campaign is using a hashtag of its own: #GoFundTheLadders.
The campaign description reads, in part:
We saw some folks are raising money for a border wall to keep out our migrant siblings and fellow human beings, who are fleeing violence and persecution and whose tragically-underpaid labor is essential to the U.S. economy. Seems like a bad idea on countless levels for everyone involved. Maybe we should focus on human rights and creating a community that reflects our supposed values.
And even though at a rate of $1.7 million daily, it would take their fund about 35 years to raise the $21.7 billion that Trump's own Dept. of Homeland Security says would be needed to build said wall, we wanna make sure ladders are ready to send over to our undocumented friends and help them.
If this seems ludicrous, we welcome you to the coalition of reasonable adults.
"Should we not reach our goal--or should they (ahem) not reach theirs," the campaign says, it will donate all proceeds to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) , the Texas nonprofit that promotes justice that provides legal services to separated families and others seeking asylum in the United States.
GoFundMe notes that the ladder campaign is already trending, and it's begun to gain traction online.
#GoFundTheWall? No, thank you. I'd rather #GoFundTheLadders to Get Over Trump's Wall. (Because Trump's wall prob… https://t.co/lJf3kt81DQ— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly)1545307713.0
I'm betting that the #GoFundTheWall fundraiser will not raise enough money to even cover Trumps golf tab let alone… https://t.co/XM1IgRC5vL— The Blue Collar Dude (@The Blue Collar Dude)1545319882.0
@HoarseWisperer #GoFundTheLadders! MAGAts have raised a lot of $ in just a few days that the fella running the Wa… https://t.co/V9jcRQnI3c— Groot (@Groot)1545313045.0
I am so proud to #GoFundTheLadders. $21B for a wall? Nah, but I'll give $21, for a ladder to get over a really dumb… https://t.co/RYXrTmU2rg— Courtney (@Courtney)1545317225.0
#GoFundTheWall has faced heavy criticism since going viral.
“If you’re going to rejoice over the refusal of refugee families at our borders, you probably shouldn’t be sweetly… https://t.co/WReV2A5YZd— John Pavlovitz (@John Pavlovitz)1545316930.0
#GoFundTheWall: Because our normal expressions of terrified, hateful whiteness are not enough. #MAGA— John Pavlovitz (@John Pavlovitz)1545309765.0
Trump's supporters believe anything he says, so he could just say, tomorrow, that the wall has already been built,… https://t.co/UOZXQNUBIh— JRehling (@JRehling)1545319222.0
Tis the season for giving so the MAGA crowd have decided that instead of caring for the homeless or donating to cha… https://t.co/nNDbhrkIVz— Kaz Weida (@Kaz Weida)1545317731.0
The #GoFundTheWall campaign began to trend after President Trump abandoned his plan to shut down the government over Congress not allocating the funds to build the wall. The president has continued to stress that the wall should be a top priority, though a new poll indicates that the proposal has little support outside of the president's own base.
According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 69 percent of Americans believe that the wall should not be a priority for Congress. 74 percent of Democrats say that the wall shouldn't be a legislative priority at all. By contrast, 63 percent of Republicans described the wall as a "top priority." 51 percent of independent voters said they don't believe the wall should be a priority.
“With Democrats and Independents not connected with President Trump’s desire to build a border wall, it’s not surprising that they want him to compromise to avoid a government shutdown,” Lee M. Miringoff, Marist Institute for Public Opinion director, said in a press release. “On this issue, President Trump and the Republicans are on one side of the fence and Democrats and Independents are on the other.”
Among the poll's other findings:
- 53 percent of Americans approve of the way President Trump's administration has handled border protection, with 92 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Americans expressing their support; independents, by contrast, are split (49 percent approve whereas 47 percent disapprove).
- 55 percent disapprove of the way the president is handling "irregular immigration on U.S. soil."
- 54 percent disapprove of the way the president is handling efforts to reunite families separated by his administration's "zero tolerance" family separations policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.
UPDATE: This piece has been updated from its original form to reflect updated totals of the GoFundMe campaigns.