Americans are feeling generous this Christmas season and thousands of them are spending money on a very controversial gift for the country: a border wall.
It's not surprising that the wall has created a divide in the country - it's what it's designed to do after all - but a GoFundMe page set up by a Purpleth Heart recipient is one of the strongest shows of support for the wall.
There's a problem though.
Since Brian Kolfage, an Army vet, set up the "We The People Will Fund The Wall" GoFundMe page, the project has seen huge amounts of donations. It's currently at over $16 million in just over 7 days. It's still well short of it's ambitious $1 billion goal, but $16 million is a huge amount of money.
"As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today," Kolfage said on the page. "Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society."
Whether there should be a GoFundMe page for the wall is a controversial question, but it's arguably not important. Despite the fact it's had millions of dollars donated to it, the fund can't actually be used for it's stated purpose.
The laws surrounding donations to the government are complex. They're designed to keep big businesses out of the rooms of power in our country, but right now they are also prohibiting the GoFundMe campaign.
According to the Treasury department, private donations, like those from the campaign, are directed to a "gift" fund. This fund can be pillaged by agencies for any purpose, and private citizens don't have the right to direct the funds.
In Chapter 1 of the rules, it states that the Department of Homeland Security, which would oversee the wall, can't access the gift fund. There would need to be a law passed granting it access.
Kolfage addresses this on his GoFundMe page. He signals that a bill has been developed that will allow funds from private donations to be used for the wall. It's a start, but here's the thing: there's no rule that they have to use the funds for the wall.
That means that millions were just handed over to a government with no legal device in place to make sure the money is used properly. Most of us have trust issues with the government, which makes this notion a scary one.
On top of that, the bill isn't through committee yet, which means it will takes weeks, if not months to actually be voted on. There's also no guarantee that it even passes considering an earlier bill introduced earlier this year failed to pass. That was when the House was controlled by Republicans, by the time voting is done on this bill it will be controlled by Democrats.
Thousands of Americans might have just handed over money that they'll never see again, and never know how it got spent.