Upshur leaders want to use state funds to build wall

CHARLESTON — All three House of Delegates members representing Upshur County plan to introduce a bill in the West Virginia Legislature to use $10 million of the state’s $185 million surplus to help build President Donald Trump’s proposed wall between the southern U.S. border and Mexico.

Newly elected delegate Caleb Hanna, R-Webster, announced the bill that he, newly elected Del. Carl “Robbie” Martin, R-Upshur; and Del. Patrick Martin, R-Lewis, are drafting during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” early Tuesday morning.

“West Virginians support our president and the wall,” Del. Carl Martin said in a press release sent after the public announcement. “They’re sick of seeing Washington politicians sit on their hands while drug gangs, human traffickers and other criminals pour over our southern border. It’s time for states to stand up and do what they can to support our president in his fight to protect innocent Americans.”

Hanna said, “I believe in President Trump and the wall. For me, this is no different than sending our National Guard to the border or overseas to protect U.S. interests. We, as a state, have resources available to help make America more secure, and I believe West Virginians would want those resources used to make us safer.”

In the press release, the delegates referenced one of the most pressing issues facing West Virginia now — a drug problem “fueled in part by the trafficking of highly potent, illicit drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Del. Patrick Martin, who was re-elected in November and is Carl Martin’s brother, said, “This is about our children and our future, and we must do everything in our power to protect them. Since the D.C. liberals have shown they will do anything to avoid protecting our borders, we must show we are willing to act. I hope West Virginia serves as an example to other states, it’s time for states to stand up against inaction in Washington and band together to do what’s right.”

Hanna, who at 19 is the youngest black legislator in the country, said in his interview with “Fox and Friends” he believes their bill will pass.

“We owe it to the voters,” he said.

The federal government is in a partial government shut down over funding for the proposed wall.

There have also been private efforts to fund the wall’s completion.

A military veteran started a Go Fund Me campaign which raised over $20 million to build the proposed wall but fell short of the $1 billion goal. Go Fund Me is refunding the money, according to national news reports.

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