$15,000 Donation Blocked Amid Political Friction Over Border Cleanup

The Great American Cleanup selects a different town for its annual cleanup initiative each year. It typically focuses on border towns today. Their goal is to rally volunteers and collaborate with local law enforcement to address the litter and debris left at the border by illegal immigrants and human traffickers.

In recognition of the tireless efforts of local law enforcement dealing with the border crisis, the Great American Cleanup normally donates funds to support their essential work. During an event held in Brownsville, Texas, Constable Norman Esquivel received a check worth $15,000 this year.

However, this generous gesture has stirred up a controversy. County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. has questions, asserting that the border cleanup is simply a political stunt. When Esquivel sought to cash the donation check by presenting it at the local Commissioners Court in Cameron County, they gave him problems.

Judge Trevino grilled Esquivel about the source of the funds and the mission behind his department’s involvement in border cleanup activities with the Great American Cleanup. Trevino seemed like he didn’t want Esquivel and his deputies to utilize the funds for new equipment for additional community resources.

Esquivel defended his department’s involvement and emphasized that the donation resulted from their work with the Great American Cleanup. He explained that they had been cleaning up the border area, clearing the trash left behind by illegal immigrants who entered our country.

The funds were provided by the We Fund the Blue Foundation. It’s a non-profit organization that chose Esquivel’s department for collaboration. According to Esquivel, the organization chose their department to assist them, ultimately presenting them with a $15,000 check. Out of gratitude, the foundation even added an extra $5,000.

Trevino had a barrage of questions. He inquired about the exact location of the cleanup, to which Esquivel responded that it was right across from an encampment on the Rio Grande River. Esquivel’s team had dedicated Saturday and Sunday to cleaning, each day lasting around eight hours.

Esquivel reported that in Brownsville alone, around 45,000 illegal immigrants had entered the country within the past few months. These immigrants often left behind large amounts of trash and debris, creating a substantial daily challenge for law enforcement. The issue extended beyond Central and South America.

Esquivel stressed the importance of voting for the right leaders and cautioned against media outlets that downplayed the severity of the border crisis. Trevino’s inquiry continued as he asked if other constables were invited to participate in the cleanup event.

It seemed as if Trevino thought Esquivel had orchestrated the event and purposefully excluded others from the opportunity. He further probed whether Esquivel intended to share the donation funds with other constable departments. Esquivel said that he had informed other constables about the plan.

Some had expressed intentions to “try to make it.” Regarding sharing the funds with those who didn’t participate in the almost 16 hours of volunteer clean-up efforts, Esquivel asserted that they could determine the distribution as necessary but assured the money would be utilized effectively.

Trevino interjected, reiterating his question about sharing the funds with other constable departments. Esquivel expressed a desire to use the funds for “our deputies in precinct one,” emphasizing the need for high-quality police equipment and community resources. After all, they chose not to participate in cleaning.

Rourke expressed surprise at Esquivel’s challenges while attempting to cash the donation check. He noted that previous cleanup events in other locations had not encountered such issues. Both Del Rio and Eagle Pass cleanups had been aided by Democrat Sheriffs.
Whether Trevino intends to release the funds or prefers to leave trash piled up at the border remains to be determined.