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Home | News | Border wall on private land near El Paso lacks necessary permits, local officials say
A portion of the border wall near El Paso built by We Build The Wall, a private group that raised money through a GoFundMe account. Julian Aguilar/The Texas Tribune

Border wall on private land near El Paso lacks necessary permits, local officials say

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. — The organization that raised millions of dollars to construct a border barrier on private land over the Memorial Day weekend will be issued a cease-and-desist letter due to a lack of permits needed for the project, a spokesperson for the city of Sunland Park, said Tuesday.

The group, We Build the Wall, used millions raised from a GoFundMe page to fund construction of about a half-mile barrier near the Texas-New Mexico state line across from Mexico. The site is on land owned by American Eagle Brick Co. and is just a few miles from downtown El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso. The site is in the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Paso sector.

“The city has not provided any permits, it has not approved of the construction that has gone up already,” city spokesperson Peter Ibardo told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday. “They built the structure without authority or any building permits from the city.”

Ibardo added that there were no site plans or recent surveys submitted to the city.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon are listed on the group’s website as part of the leadership team. Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage started the organization.

When asked at the site Tuesday about the permitting process, Kobach said the owner of the land went through the permitting process and that “official inspectors were on the property” before construction began. He said that the group hoped the project would be finished by late Tuesday or Wednesday.

But Ibardo later said the permit was only picked up Friday before the long holiday weekend, was incomplete when it was submitted and that site inspectors tried to visit the property last week but were turned away.

Kobach said construction for the project cost between $6 and $8 million and began late Friday. The group had raised more than $20 million as of Monday. Kobach said the site was kept a secret to avoid protests and said the group was looking to expand its project to other parts of the border, including California and Texas.

Ibardo said a timeline on when the situation could be resolved is unclear but that the project will be treated like any other that needs city approval.

“There are a lot of moving pieces to this, it caught everyone off guard,” he said.

He added that it’s unclear if the International Water and Boundary Commission, which oversees water and boundary issues between the United States and Mexico was made aware of the construction. We Build The Wall did not immediately respond to a request for comment later Tuesday afternoon.

Read related Tribune coverage

Author:  JULIÁN AGUILARThe Texas Tribune

About The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Facebook (@TexasTribune) Twitter (@TexasTribune) Instagram (@Texas_Tribune)

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10 comments

  1. I have a feeling this will not age well and the DIMS will be embarrassed yet again!!!

    https://twitter.com/BrianKolfage

  2. Makes you wonder which cartel the city of Sunland Park works for.

  3. Greetings, trumpTURDS!

    Is this the wall that Donald Trump promise that Mexico would pay for it?
    Embarrassed are the ones that are paying for this one mile addition out of their own pockets!
    This wall is not good enough if it don’t cover the entire Mt Christo Rey! and it seems like it took a short cut.
    That’s to protect me when I go up the mountain on a pilgrimage! so please pass the collection hat around $$$?
    And get to work…..

    • I see Alberto the moron has a new alias.

      • That is his schizo personality number 24. His anti-psychotic meds obviously do not work since his brain is too fried. But we all know it is the moron Alberto Velarde. Based on his rant he is jealous of the wall. lmao.

  4. Build The Wall

    Mikey, there is a lot of things that make me wonder about both El Paso, Las Cruces and Sunland Park. This is what happens when folks vote in “leaders” and not representatives with their same values. We need to get citizens that are eligible to vote to go out and do their civic duties.

    • Greetings, trumpTURDS

      You need to move out of El Paso and go live in a white only community for white nationalist racist bigots!
      Surely you are not from around these areas and you moved here to El Paso and you brought your hate with you.
      Look who you voted for in Donald Trump in 2016 didn’t ya? typical racist bigot whitey! when a democrat president comes into power in 2021, he or she will have this border wall knocked down!
      You don’t have enough registered republican voters in this Blue Country Region, so maybe you and mikey can help each other out and pack up your junk and move as far away from El Paso.
      The sooner you both are gone the better for all of us, and GOOD RIDDANCE!

      • Hey Alberto you need to move back to Commiefornia. BTW – About time you moved out of the barrio and into the real world.

        BTW – POTUS DJT will win by a landslide in November 2020. You lose!

      • Hey moron, guess what? The wall is still being built.

      • Your parents were obviously related before marriage

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