Private donations for Texas border wall surged to $54M in August

Private donations to build a wall along Texas's border with Mexico surpassed $54 million dollars in August, according to an official fundraising website for the effort.

As of Aug. 31, private donations totaled $54,260,182.

The Texas Tribune reported that at the beginning of August, fundraising for the wall was at around $1 million and it was not immediately clear what accounted for the surge or where the donations came from. Donations jumped to $19 million in the first half of August and then increased even faster to $54 million by the end of the month, according to the Tribune.

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Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottWhere election review efforts stand across the US The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP Texas limits business with Ben & Jerry's over Israel move MORE (R) announced in June he would solicit private donations to build a wall and the state would put down a $250 million "down payment."

"We are grateful for the outpouring of support from across our state and the entire country as Texas fills the gap created by President BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE and steps up to secure our southern border, Renae Eze, press secretary for Abbott, told The Hill 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. While the Biden Administration may not prioritize the sovereignty of our nation or the safety of our people, Americans clearly do,” she added.

But while Republicans say a border wall between the United States and Mexico is necessary to stop migrants from crossing illegally into the country, many Democrats and immigration advocates dismiss the project as an inefficient waste of resources.

"Let’s make one thing clear: the narrative of a violent and insecure border region is blatantly false. The border is not a war zone, and the wall Abbott and Trump are trying to get Texans to pay for is not only a waste of their hard-earned money but also an un-American symbol of hatred that separates and intimidates our communities, harms our wildlife, and encroaches on landowner rights," Rep. Filemon VelaFilemon Bartolome VelaDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' MORE (D-Texas) said in June, criticizing Abbott and former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE for visiting the border to highlight illegal immigration.  

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Attempted crossings into the U.S. from Mexico hit a 20-year high in July. That month saw 212,000 people try to cross the border, a 13 percent increase from June.

The Biden administration this spring canceled projects to build a border wall that would have used funding diverted from Department of Defense construction projects.

"The border wall has done nothing but militarize border communities, destroy precious environmental habitats, and desecrate Native American sacred sites. After such abuses of power, cancelling the contracts and repairing the environmental damage is the least we can do," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in April. 

--Updated at 1:09 p.m.