Watch the first section of barrier being completed in the video below.
Video credit: One America News Network
An advocacy group, backed by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, has built its own border wall spanning one mile.
The wall stands on private property and runs through Sunland Park, New Mexico, to El Paso, Texas.
‘It’s just under one mile long,’ triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage, who started a crowdfunding campaign to build the US-Mexico border wall, told Daily Mail on Monday.
‘The wall starts at the Rio Grande River and goes up Mount Cristo Rey where the US Army Corps of engineers said it was impossible to build.’
Kolfage is operating under ‘We Build the Wall Inc.’ – a Florida-based non-profit advocacy organization aimed at generating funds for Trump’s border wall.
The organization is backed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon, who serves as its director.
The one-mile section of the border wall, which cost the organization around $8 million, will be sold to the federal government for just $1.
‘We’re going to sell this wall to them for $1 and release the title to them,’ Kolfage said.
‘We can’t give the government the money because that’s not the way it works. But we wanted to show the American people how to get this job done.’
Kolfage said their wall segment has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as by President Trump.
It took around 10 days to move dirt before the construction could start at the site, co-founder of We Build the Wall Inc. Dustin Stockton told The Associated Press.
The project was executed by famed constructor Tommy Fisher of North Dakota-based Fisher Industries.
Kolfage said the location of the wall segment was chosen on the basis of data his team obtained from US Customs and Border Protection under a Freedom of Information Act request.
‘It’s the worst smuggling route on the entire border,’ Kolfage said of the site. ‘Border patrol said 1,000 people cross there each day, on average.’
Kolfage said the government hoped that the mountains would provide a natural barrier. ‘But it hasn’t stopped anything,’ the veteran said. ‘That’s why decided to build here first.’
The project was carried out in secret so as to avoid any disturbance from opposing groups.
‘There are a lot of different groups opposed to what we’re doing that would have just had to file an injunction against the property owner and that would have delayed the build,’ Kolfage said.
‘We also didn’t want to risk an international incident so we wanted to keep it tight-lipped until it was completed.’
Speaking of the material and dimensions of the one-mile segment, Kolfage said: ‘The steel portions of the wall are 25 feet tall, but we built the base up with stone in some areas, so it can be roughly 30-40 feet tall, as it goes up the mountain.
‘It’s made of all-weather steel which could last for centuries. It costs more up front but the overall cost of not having to be replaced in the near future is better in the long run.’
He added how the wall constructed by the incumbent administration is being made with poor quality steel that can be subjected to rust.
‘Our wall is far superior to the government wall,’ he said.
‘We also opted for a technology package that includes a fiber optic sensor in the ground that can detect digging and even people touching the wall. There will also be cameras mounted on the wall.
‘We’re paving a road for border control with outlook centers at the top of the mountain, as well.’
Speaking of the costs involved, Kolfage said: ‘The wall itself cost about $2 million.
‘Construction was right around $2 million, and we had to clear a mountain. The biggest cost was earth moving on this project. If we were working on flat land it would have cost about $3 million to $4 million for the mile.’
The group, which raised a whopping $22,372,736 by crowdfunding, can build two more miles of the border wall with the funds they currently have with them.
But they don’t want to keep their efforts restricted to just private land.
‘We’re talking with DHS and trying to get permission to build inside the Roosevelt Easement, and if that works out, we could build the entire wall from New Mexico to California with private donations,’ Kolfage said.
When asked whether or not the group plans to bid for building the government funded segments of the border wall, Kolfage said: ‘That seems like a mess and it’s not really what it’s about for our group.
‘We have letters of intent to build more border wall, but we’re not releasing locations in advance. We’re going to keep chugging along and raising money and supplementing the president’s plan.’
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