Many supporters of a potential border wall donated to a crowdfunding campaign to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, and they raised a lot of money.
According to a CNN report, the GoFundMe campaign to fund the border wall raised $20 million, but it fell far short of its goal of $1 billion. Because it wasn't fully funded, the crowdfunding site will issue refunds to everyone who donated.
A triple amputee, Air Force veteran named Brian Kolfage set up the ambitious campaign, which received a lot of media attention. If every person who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 donated, the average donation to reach the campaign goal would be $80, but apparently, everybody did not send in a donation.
"When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically stated on the campaign page, 'If we don't reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny. He also stated on the campaign page, '100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall. If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation," GoFundMe explained.
The wording is precise, and because the campaign ended without reaching its lofty goal, all the money donated will end up being refunded to each donor.After creating his campaign, Kolfage found out that the United States government does not have a vehicle to accept the money he raised. After he realized that, he set up a nonprofit in Florida called "We Build the Wall, Inc." The veteran planned to build the border barrier privately using donations and money he raises with the entity.
"When I created this fundraiser, I said if we did not reach our goal we will refund donors. I am honoring that commitment today. We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action," Kolfage said.
Donors are allowed to move their donation to the nonprofit if they would like to give money that way. For now, the GoFundMe campaign is still up and running, and it's not clear if or when Kolfage will take it down.
As for building a wall on the border privately, it is unclear how that would work, since so many different people own land along the nearly 2000 miles the wall would need to span.
As for the U.S. government, CNBC reported that the shutdown over border funding is now officially the longest in history, with no signs of it coming to an end any time soon.