Wyoming bank heir donated 98% of private funds for Abbott Texas border wall
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) ‘s solicitation for private funds for a state-built barrier along the Mexican border brought in $ 54 million, but $ 53.1 million came from donor Timothy Mellon , a billionaire from Wyoming and grandson of the late bank mogul André Mellon, The Texas Tribune reports.
Before Mellon’s donations, Abbott’s private fundraising campaign had stagnated at around $ 1.25 million by mid-August, two months after its launch – a drop in the bucket for a project whose the price is estimated at billions of dollars, ”he added. Tribune reports. Then Mellon’s money poured in within days at the end of August, and “donations have stalled again since.” Mellon made his contribution in shares, not cash, which means he will likely receive tax relief from the donation.
Mellon appears to have no connection to Texas, but he donated $ 20 million to America First Action, former President Donald Trump’s super PAC, last year, and has given a lot to others. Republican election fund, the Tribune reports.
Along with Abbott’s crowdfunding, the GOP-led Texas legislature approved nearly $ 3 billion in taxpayer dollars for border security, including $ 750 million earmarked for building border gates. Abbott, facing a primary challenge from his right flank, has focused on the border since March.
The border fence is intended in part to add to Trump’s wall, scrapped by President Biden, but it is also part of a plan to arrest migrants on increased trespassing charges.
“The quickly put in place system of arrests, detentions and releases of migrants has been hampered by missteps since its inception, including inappropriately separated families, violations of due process and a lack of coordination between authorities federal, state and local, ”he added. Tribune reports. Last week, a state judge ordered the release of nearly 250 migrants who were arrested under Abbott’s plan but never charged, and a state prosecutor dismissed the charges on Monday brought against 11 migrants who said state soldiers forced them to walk for 20 minutes to and climb on private property. the fence so they can be stopped for trespassing.
Defense lawyers say this kind of alleged entrapment is not unique. “We have heard reports and several of our clients have said that they were in fact called up the river on private property,” said Kristin Etter, of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Tribune. Texas State Police arrested approximately 1,300 migrants for trespassing. Most are released within a month.