A small town on the Texas border has agreed to meet with an organization that raises funds through the internet to privately fund President Donald Trump's proposed wall along the country's southern border with Mexico.
The city council of El Cenizo, an outpost about 20 miles south of Laredo along the Rio Grande, said at its meeting last week it plans to meet with the group called 'We Build the Wall," according to the Laredo Morning Times.
The meeting is designed to discuss future planning for wall construction at the end of the city's riverbank picnic area, according to the report.
Brian Kolfage, a U.S. Air Force veteran, started 'We Build the Wall' on GoFundMe last December as a way to privately fund sections of Trump's proposed wall. The site claims to have raised more than $18 million in its first two weeks. Its site goes on to say Kolfage consulted with leaders in law, politics, finance, construction and national security after the site's immediate success.
"This team spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing the many issues and hurdles to the realizing the construction of a Southern Border Wall," the website claims. "Unanimously, they concluded that: the federal government wouldn't be able to timely accept the donations or directly apply the funds to the construction of a wall (and) that we the people and the We Build the Wall team can better utilize the donated funds to build sections of actual wall on the Southern Border."
El Cenizo City Commissioner Salvador Hernandez said that since We Build the Wall is not a government entity, and that it is privately-funded, a wall on the requested area would not cost the city any money.
"[We Build the Wall] will be in charge of putting up the barrier, cleaning the area, putting cameras and making it safe for the residents to be down [at the riverbanks]," Hernandez said. "I know that it's a big issue. People don't use the picnic area because they don't feel comfortable and that barrier would make the city safer."
Hernandez said Border Patrol agents told him that El Cenizo is the main point for narcotics for flowing into the U.S.
"It is more than illegal people just trying to cross here," Hernandez said. "I am not against immigration. I am not against people wanting to come to the country. I am looking to protect my residents."
Hernandez said any potential wall would not be made of cinder blocks, and that they would be able to see through to the other side. He did not specify how it would ultimately be designed, though.
Hernandez added that a border barrier in El Cenizo was, in no way, a show of support for any political side, but rather a way of protecting citizens during outings of family and friends.
We Build the Wall has already funded one structure along the border. The Texas Tribune reported of a stretch of barrier along the Mexican border that crosses the Texas-New Mexico line.
"They created that structure and the outcome was very, very nice, where a lot of the residents were happy about it," Hernandez said.