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A new half-mile wall built with private funds along the U.S.-Mexico border has not stopped the flow of immigrants coming from Mexico, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.

“It’s a bunch of bullshit,” Fernando Ontiveroz, a resident of Sunland Park, New Mexico, told BuzzFeed. Even though he supported the idea of a wall along the border, Ontiveroz admitted, “I don’t think it’s working.”

The section of wall in Sunland Park, a New Mexico border town near El Paso, Texas, was built on private property and spearheaded by the group We Build the Wall. The group built the half-mile-long, 20-foot-high wall even though they did not have proper permits to do so. They claimed the structure would help stem the flow of illegal immigration and stop criminal activities like drug smuggling and human trafficking.

But the $20 million effort appears to be an abject failure, according to local residents.

BuzzFeed reporters saw dozens of migrants come into the town after the wall was built and were approached by several adults with children looking for a border patrol agent so they could turn themselves in. Another night, border patrol agents detained 54 people “a stone’s throw away from the base of the crowdfunded wall.”

“Regardless of what they build, they’re still coming in,” Jorge Alaniz, an El Paso resident, told BuzzFeed.  “This is just political crap.”

The mayor of Sunland Park worries that the wall will be ineffective and just funnel migrants to enter the country in other areas.

“It is always the case, where you have outsiders coming in thinking they have a solution,” Javier Perea, mayor of Sunland Park, told BuzzFeed. “Building the wall won’t change the source of the problem.”

“It’s clear to us that construction of a portion of the wall in private property is nothing but a political stunt by white supremacists and xenophobic groups,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, told KTSM at the end of May.

The effort to build a privately funded wall was backed by Trump allies such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and We Build the Wall’s general counsel Kris Kobach has ties to white supremacists.

Asylum-seekers are still coming across the border, fleeing desperate situations.

“They traveled thousands of miles by foot, so they’ll do whatever it takes,” Alaniz told Buzzfeed, adding, “These people are desperate. They’re hungry and they’re trying to survive.”

Rather than do anything to help, We Build the Wall constructed one final, half-mile-long barrier.

By all appearances, it is a multimillion dollar failure.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Screenshot of the wall on private land in Sunland, New Mexico.

 

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.