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Work Continues on Private Border Wall Despite Order

Friday, May 31, 2019

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Shortly after plans for a border wall being built on private property came to light, the mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, issued a cease-and-desist order to stop construction. The order was issued on Tuesday (May 28).

Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea also noted that the wall violated ordinances regarding structure height and that the group also did not complete necessary for permits necessary for the work.

Despite the order, the group reponsible is reportedly moving forward with construction.

 Border Wall on Private Property

According to CNN, We Build the Wall, a group founded by Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, broke ground on border wall construction on private property in New Mexico over the weekend. Work commenced near the New Mexico-Texas state line, not far from El Paso. The group raised millions of dollars through GoFundMe.

Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state, told CNN that half a mile of border wall was already complete, costing between $6 million and $8 million. Fisher Sand & Gravel is the contractor completing the work.

Steve Bannon, who previously served as White House chief strategist and now serves as a chair for the group’s advisory board, noted that the private project connects two 21-mile sections of fencing that is already in place. CNN has not yet been able to verify this claim, however.

Fundraising efforts date back back to December 2018, with donations currently totaling $20 million. Kobach noted that over 300,000 people donated, with the average donation amounting to $67. When donors asked about construction progress, especially in light of all the money raised, organizers responded with a need for secrecy to protect the project.

Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Roger Maier noted that the endeavor is not connected to CPB efforts. According to Newsweek, the group has raised $22 million of a $1 billion goal.

Cease-and-Desist Order

City spokesperson Peter Ibardo told The Texas Tribune that no recent surveys or site plans had been submitted to the city. Kobach claimed earlier this week that the owner of the property went through the necessary permitting process, and that inspectors were on site before work commenced.

Ibardo noted in turn that the permit had been acquired late the week before and when it was submitted, it was incomplete. Inspectors also reportedly tried to visit the site, but were turned away when an attempt was made, according to the Tribune.

A timeline on when things could be resolved remains unclear, but Ibardo emphasized that the project would be treated much like other work that also requires city approval. It also remains unclear if the International Water and Boundary Commission was made aware of the work.

According to a Tweet from Kolfage, posted early Thursday (May 30) morning, construction was given the green light to proceed. Kolfage claimed the permits were reissued.

The group also maintains that the details that were the center of the officals' protest have been cleared up by the city, and Kolfage told KFOX14 that: “There is nothing in the ordinances that prohibits us building a wall, and the city of Sunland Park has come to that same conclusion. There is nothing in the ordinances that this wall violates."


Tagged categories: Construction; Government; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

Comment from john lienert, (5/31/2019, 6:57 AM)

Private Property, folks...........Good Walls make Good Neighbors

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