Border Wall on Private Property Hailed by Immigration Hardliners But NM City Says It's Not Permitted

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - The newly built section of border fence is only half a mile long, but its construction has this city on the Texas border on edge.The section of fence is part of the “We Build the Wall” campaign that has raised more than $22 million through crowdfunding. The campaign is led by allies of President Donald J. Trump, including former administration senior adviser Steve Bannon and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, both immigration hardliners.Kobach said construction for the fence project will cost between $6-8 million. He said the group is already looking at other projects, including in Texas. But the Sunland Park mayor said this fence on private property in didn’t get a proper city permit and is higher than allowed.Mayor Javier Perea said at a press conference Tuesday that the 18-foot fence surpasses the city’s ordinance that allows a maximum height of 6 feet.The wall is “not in compliance with city ordinance,” he said. He later ordered a cease-and-desist order. Wall organizers said they had been given the go-ahead and hinted at legal action if necessary.Trump has made a wall -- to be built by Mexico -- his hallmark promise and the slogan, “Finish the Wall,” his reelection theme, though Congress has not provided any new money to build a wall, other than to allocate funds for maintenance improvements.“Building a half-mile of wall here is far more important than building 20 miles of wall in the middle of the desert where nobody is crossing,” said Kobach, who said he also serves as a legal adviser for We Build the Wall. He said the group has the “blessing” of the president and described Trump as very pleased with the efforts.A federal judge recently temporarily blocked Trump from using billions in funds not appropriated by Congress for wall construction. Trump rejected the decision, calling the judge an “Obama judge” and stating it was “a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking.”Wall to be finished WednesdayDustin Stockton, vice president of We Build the Wall, said the project began late Friday and was expected to be finished Wednesday. He said a celebration is planned for Thursday.Stockton said before the cease-and-desist order was issued, “I don’t handle legal matters, but we have a very good, accomplished legal team to make sure we are in compliance.”He beamed, and explained adrenaline was high among members of the team.“There is a feeling of victory, pride, celebration that we were able to do this with the people’s money and proved to the government that this can be done.” He blamed Congress for not solving what he described as an “immigration crisis on the border.”A record 2,200 migrants turned themselves into Border Patrol agents on Memorial Day after crossing into U.S. soil.He pointed to some members of the crew with their faces were covered with U.S. flags, and a cement mixer also painted with the colors of the U.S. flag, including stars. By nightfall, workmen appeared to be working. A giant U.S. flag was draped over a portion of the fence, along with a sign that read Trump 2020.  Continue reading...

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