While President Donald Trump visited the Rio Grande Valley Thursday to make the case for a $5.7 billion wall that is part of a comprehensive border security package, a group of residents nearby banded together and raised $12,000 to help pay for the construction.
“We want our country safe,” said Marilou Prudencio. She told KRGV, she is concerned that too many people are crossing the U.S. border into Texas illegally.
Prudencio and the group’s other members are retired residents in the Rio Grande Valley city of Weslaco, roughly 16 miles southeast of McAllen where Trump discussed border security earlier in the day. Some, like Prudencio, live in the Texas border city year-round. Others, like Dave German and his wife Jackie, are snowbirds who make the annual trek from Des Moines, Iowa, to soak up the mild South Texas winters.
Prudencio, sporting a white Air Force cap, said she collected hundreds of donations by herself after telling friends in different parts of the U.S. about her backyard border concerns. Admittedly, she called the $12,000 the group raised “a start.”
Many in this group served in various branches of the U.S. military, according to KRGV. They wanted to do their little part in helping to build the wall. One of the members proudly held a sign that read: “Save America for our children.”
Prudencio voiced concerns over foot traffic illegally crossing the border and traveling through the Rio Grande Valley. “We might get messed up here very bad,” she said, underscoring what may happen in South Texas will travel northward. “You’re going to get it up there.”
Recently, Breitbart’s Border/Cartel Chronicles reported on 29 “need to know” facts about the Texas border, which accounts for about 1,200 miles of the approximately 2,000 total miles of the U.S. southern border. Most of this section of the border is the Rio Grande River, which varies in intensity with respect to currents:
Most of the efforts by drug cartels to control migration happens South of the Texas border. Criminal organizations like the Reynosa faction of the Gulf Cartel profit more from human smuggling than drug trafficking.
Claims by Democrats about the low crime rates in El Paso are an example of walls working. In areas with considerable border barriers such as El Paso, the regional criminal groups turn more professional and shy away from illegal immigration to traffic harder drugs through ports of entry.
The presence of physical barriers in cities like El Paso has led to fewer people coming over the border to commit petty crimes or bring loads of drugs on their backs. The criminal organizations in the area shifted toward corrupting U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to smuggle harder drugs.
Last month, Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee military veteran and Purple Heart recipient, started a GoFundMe campaign called “We the People Will Fund the Wall” to nudge the federal government into allocating $1 billion to secure the border. To date, more than 335,300 people have raised more than $20 million.
Prudencio said she wanted her group’s fundraising efforts to count by going directly to the border wall project without getting parked in a “department” or a general fund.
“Definitely to President Trump’s hands, so that nobody can mess with it — no congressmen, no senators to mess with it. Just for the bricks to the border,” said Prudencio. “And we promise, we’re going to make it.”
Until they figure out how to do this, the Rio Grande Valley retirees will keep the $12,000 safely stored in a bank account earmarked for the border wall.