At the beginning of August, fundraising for the wall was at around $1 million, according to the Texas Tribune. By the end of the first half of August, donations had jumped to $19 million and then reached $54 million by the end of the month.
Abbott launched the private fundraising effort in June, arguing that if the Biden administration would not complete the southern border wall, the state of Texas would.
He also pledged the state would put down $250 million as a down-payment. The Texas legislature increased that amount in a new spending bill that allocates $1.88 billion total toward border security. About $750 million of that funding will go directly toward building the border wall.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from across our state and the entire country as Texas fills the gap created by President Biden and steps up to secure our southern border,” Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, said in a statement.
“Cartels and smugglers are profiting off the chaos as they overwhelm and divert our nation’s resources so they can smuggle drugs, weapons, criminals, and other contraband across our border,” Eze added. “While the Biden Administration may not prioritize the sovereignty of our nation or the safety of our people, Americans clearly do.”
Illegal crossings hit a 20-year high in July, with more than 212,000 illegal aliens running into border agents.
Abbott’s office said it has identified 733 miles of border in Texas that need some type of barrier. The Biden administration canceled projects to complete the barriers in these areas, claiming the border wall was too controversial and no longer necessary.