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Billionaire donates $53M to Texas border wall fund, report says

Aerial view from the town of Sonoyta, Mexico, of border wall construction west of Lukeville, Ariz., on February 20, 2020. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
October 08, 2021

At least $54 million has been raised through private donations for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s border wall fund and 98 percent of the donations came from one person, the Texas Tribune first reported Wednesday.

Billionaire Timothy Mellon, who is based in Wyoming and the grandson of former U.S. Treasury Secretary and banking tycoon Andrew Mellon, contributed $53.1 million in stock to the Texas border fund in August, public records revealed.

Prior to Mellon’s donation, Gov. Abbott’s private fundraising effort had raised around $1.25 million from about 1,200 people.

Mellon had previously donated heavily to former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and has also contributed to the defense of legislation aimed at immigrants.

Forbes reported that Mellon, 79, is worth around $1 billion. By donating stock rather than cash, Mellon could potentially receive a large tax benefit, tax experts explained to the Tribune.

“It’s common to give stock that’s increased in value because they can get rid of the gains and they can deduct the donations,” Notre Dame Law School Prof. Lloyd Mayer explained.

The report comes as President Joe Biden’s administration continues allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to unlawfully cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Over 1.5 million immigrants have illegally entered the United States since January, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.

This week, ten GOP governors, including Gov. Abbott, announced a 10-point plan to stop President Joe Biden’s border crisis.

“The Biden Administration’s open border policies have led to complete chaos at the southern border, and pose a threat to the safety of Texans and all Americans,” Gov. Abbott said. “Together, we are sending a strong message to the Biden Administration that we will not tolerate their refusal to secure the border — and we will continue to do whatever it takes to keep our communities safe.”

Last week, Department of Homeland Security officials revealed the administration is preparing for as many as 400,000 more illegal immigrants to enter the United States through the southern border in October in an unprecedented surge.

The number would be almost twice the 21-year record high that occurred in July, when more than 210,000 illegal immigrants entered the United States.

Last month, after a caravan of Haitian illegal immigrants overwhelmed border agents in Texas, DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal Haitian immigrants were released into the U.S. following a surge that left thousands of migrants camped out under the international bridge in Del Rio for days.

“They’re released on conditions. Approximately, I think it’s about 10,000 or so, 12,000,” Mayorkas told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, later adding that the number “could be even higher.”