West Virginia has now become the second state to consider giving money to the federal government in support of President Donald Trump’s wall along the southern border.
Three Republican lawmakers in the state’s House of Delegates announced they would be introducing legislation that would help fund the wall.
The bill would divert $10 million from a state budget surplus, which is projected to grow to $300 million soon, to help build the wall, according to delegates Carl Martin (R-Upshur), Patrick Martin (R-Lewis), and Caleb Hanna (R-Webster).
Caleb Hanna, at the age of 19, is the youngest black legislator in the nation. He said that the funding is similar to sending National Guard troops to different states.
“I am happy to co-sponsor a piece of legislation that I don’t think just West Virginia will be happy about, but the American people as a whole,” Hanna told Fox News. “We owe it to the voters … I believe that the wall is a crucial part in addressing West Virginia’s drug problem.”
He added: “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 more safe.”
According to a press release from the state’s House of Delegates, the drug epidemic that has wreaked havoc upon West Virginians is largely the result of drugs being trafficked over the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We have been in contact with multiple law enforcement officers and judges about the drug epidemic, and every single one has told us 90 percent of the drugs coming to our state are coming in from Mexico,” Carl Martin said in the release.
“This is about our children and our future, and we must do everything in our power to protect them,” Patrick Martin added. “Since the D.C. liberals won’t act on this, we will. And I hope West Virginia serves as an example to other states that it’s time to stand up against inaction in Washington and band together to do what’s right.”
Hanna also noted that the money isn’t much but hopes that, if the legislation passes, it prompts other states to contribute.