Border Fence Fundraiser Draws Dollars And Political Clout
CASA GRANDE - Several prominent Arizona lawmakers gathered Wednesday night to celebrate the launch of a fundraising campaign to use private donations and inmate labor to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The site, buildtheborderfence.com, went live Wednesday.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, state Senate President Russell Pearce, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio attended the event. Each elected official congratulated freshman state senator Steve Smith for writing the bill that authorizes the fundraising campaign.
Arpaio even offered his inmates up as free labor.
"If I could put illegal immigrants on a chain gang," Arpaio told a cheering crowd, "I'm sure I could send them down to the border to help you build the fence."
The website received 1,265 individual donations in its first day, for a total $58,111. Experts estimate that each mile of fencing, for Arizona's roughly 370-mile long border, will cost between $3 million to $7 million.