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Bannon-led wall effort to meet in Arizona Friday to discuss private border wall construction

By: - February 5, 2019 1:59 pm

Former Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

**UPDATED to include details of the event in Southern Arizona**

A who’s who group of Trump allies and immigration hard-liners is coming to Southern Arizona Friday to hold a “town hall” on a plan to raise $100 million over the next year to build up to 30 miles of border fence on private land.

According to Politico, which reported the private fundraising effort today, the group planning the private border wall includes former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, baseball legend Curt Schilling, former Sheriff David Clarke and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.

The idea, which began in December as a Florida man’s quixotic online crowdfunding campaign, is becoming something more, well, concrete. Big name Trump supporters like Bannon, a former Trump campaign and White House strategist, have flocked to the project. And they have initiated talks with the Israeli firm that constructed that country’s border fence with Gaza, the group told POLITICO. They expect to hold a town hall in Tucson, Arizona, as soon as Friday and to visit the border in Laredo, Texas, next week.

The money will be raised and spent by We Build the Wall, a nonprofit created last month by Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee Iraq war veteran who started a GoFundMe campaign to build the wall in December.

Politico didn’t suss out any details on the potential Arizona town hall, but We Build the Wall posted on its Facebook page today that it will be hosting a town hall in Green Valley Friday evening. The meeting will be attended by Kolfage, Tancredo (a longtime ally of infamous ex-legislator and SB1070 architect Russell Pearce), Mary Ann Mendoza and Steve Ronnebeck. Both Mendoza and Ronnebeck had children who were killed by undocumented immigrants.

“Please come if you’re in the area, it’ll be a great night of Q&A about our plans and progress building the wall,” We Build the Wall wrote on Facebook.

Thus far, the group has reportedly raised $20 million, and believes it can construct a mile of wall for $1.5 million to $2.5 million, not including the cost of land.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.

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