Update: Private border wall group hit with cease-and-desist order

by WorldTribune Staff, May 29, 2019

The private group which constructed a half mile of border wall over the Memorial Day weekend has been issued a cease-and-desist order by Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Site of private wall construction. / We Build the Wall photo

Sunland Park city officials told KTSM that the We Build the Wall group did not obtain the proper permits prior to breaking ground on the project.

“We have issued a cease and desist to the owner of the property,” Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea, a Democrat, said at a press conference on May 28. “At this point, it will be turned over to the courts for follow up in the matter.”

Related: They built a border wall … without the government’s money, May 28, 2019

Brian Kolfage, the Air Force veteran who founded We Build the Wall and funds it through the $20 million raised thus far in a GoFundMe campaign, called BS, saying the group was given the “green light” to build the wall section.

Kolfage tweeted: “Here we go!! Liberals trying to intimidate us! SOUND THE ALARM. The governor trying to flex, city of Sunland park said we had no permits trying to shut us down- BULLSHIT! They were on site on Friday and gave us green light to build!”

Perea said the owner of the private property on which the wall section sits submitted an “incomplete” application on May 24, then began construction shortly after.

“There was no survey submitted with the plans at this point; there’s no site plan developed or turned into the city of Sunland Park,” Perea said. “Also, city ordinance only allows a wall up to six feet tall, and this far exceeds that.”

The privately-built wall stands at roughly 20 feet, with seven feet buried beneath the ground.

Kolfage had, prior to construction, stressed the need to keep the wall’s location a secret for as long as possible in order to circumvent legal challenges. In a March radio interview, Kolfage said he had to hide the location to avoid opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.

“I wish I could name where it’s at, but we can’t name it because of the ACLU, these other liberals groups that want to sue us and impede our progress,” Kolfage said.

It’s unclear whether Sunland Park has the authority to tear down the private wall.

“I would have to consult with my staff and attorneys as to what further actions can be done at this point,” Perea said.

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