The first privately-funded border wall is already facing trouble after city officials ordered a “cease and desist” on the project, as IJR News reported — but those helping build it think the decision was politically motivated.
Sunland Park officials claim that the paperwork filed for the wall was incomplete. Sunland Park spokesman Peter Ibarbo claimed that the paperwork must be filled out properly before they can return to the building.
“The rules apply to everyone,” Ibarbo said. “That’s the process.”
According to Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea, there may also be rules prohibiting the wall due to its height.
“My understanding is that city ordinance only allows a wall up to six feet tall, and this far exceeds that,” Perea said.
“We Build The Wall,” the group heading the project, and founder Brian Kolfage, however, claim that “it’s a political issue.”
“What we really think it is, we think it’s a political issue. People are raising a fit about this. People don’t like that it’s happening,” Kolfage said. “That’s why we waited as long as we did to file the paperwork.”
Watch for more information about the wall below:
Kris Kobach, the general counsel for the group, also pointed out that the same city officials had allegedly given them the green light to start construction.
“We were then instructed by the same city officials that we were good to proceed with construction over the holiday weekend and that we would not have any issues being shut down,” Kobach said.
However, Sunland Park City Manager Julia Brown is adamant that politics is not a motivating factor.
“There is no political motivation on the part of the city, simply our interest in having our code and ordinances complied with. This applicant is not being treated any differently from any other applicant in that all applicants are expected to comply with the law. We don’t selectively enforce the law, do not show favoritism or ignore our own laws.”
According to Kobach, they are building the wall on a piece of land that was considered unable to be built on and will close a gap between the barrier that already exists.