The private border wall that appeared Memorial Day weekend was hit with a cease and desist order Tuesday for being built in violation of a New Mexico city ordinance.
The half-mile wall, built near El Paso, Texas, by a nonprofit organization funded by triple-amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage’s viral $20 million GoFundMe campaign, didn’t obtain a building permit prior to breaking ground, Sunland Park officials told KTSM.
“We have issued a cease and desist to the owner of the property,” Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea said at a news conference Tuesday.
“At this point, it will be turned over to the courts for follow up in the matter.”
Kolfage asserted on Twitter that his organization, We Build The Wall, was given the “green light to build,” and said the city’s cease and desist was “bull—-!”
“Keep donating,” Kolfage added.
But former White House strategist and We Build The Wall director Steve Bannon told Yahoo! News on Monday that his group hastily “purchased the rights” to construct it on the private land.
“We had to catch them by surprise,” Bannon said.
He also said that local residents are “gonna freak out” when they see the hastily constructed wall.
And Perea, a Democrat, said the owner of the private property housing Kolfage’s wall submitted an “incomplete” application for the wall Friday, 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 mayor said the typical permitting process takes about two months.
“Just submitting an application one day and expecting a result on the next is not sufficient time,” he said.
Perea said city officials were denied access to the work site after learning Thursday that the wall would be constructed.
It’s unclear whether the city has 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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