SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (KFOX14) — We Build The Wall is in the middle of a celebration of the impending completion of the group's crowdfunded fence.
But the mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, said they don’t have the all clear to finish building.
In interviews Wednesday and Thursday, the nonprofit group said they’ve resolved all permit issues with the city for their border wall.
Mayor Javier Perea refuted that, saying the group still has permits to file and that We Build the Wall could be subject to fines or jail time if they finish the wall without getting these issues fixed.
“The all clear is not completely there. They still, if there are any violations that are not met, they need to comply with those,” said Perea. “Fines are options allowed by New Mexico law. I believe there’s, I don’t know if this allows for imprisonment of up to 90 days but that’s regulated by state statute.“
But the group celebrating regardless, holding a ceremonial ribbon cutting, shooting off fireworks, and even making plans for future projects.
“We have 10 properties ready to go. There are hundreds more that we can use that we just have to make contact with,” said nonprofit founder and veteran Brian Kolfage.
The group had planned on the event being public, but they closed it off after they said Sunland Park police told them that protesters were being bussed in to disrupt it.
“They asked us to get a building permit, a grating permit, and a permit for the cement pedestals. And ultimately, they concluded that no variance was needed,” said Kobach. “The stop work order was lifted by the city yesterday around 4 p.m., but since we didn’t have equipment on site so we decided to wait until 6 a.m. to start.
Benton Stevens, from Austin, Texas, who started a hot chocolate stand to raise money for President Donald Trump’s border wall was in attendance.
According to the group, Stevens donated $22,000 he raised to build the private wall in Sunland Park.
The city of Sunland Park issued two signed permits for the site of the private border wall. We Build the Wall said those documents solidify that they are in total compliance with all city ordinances.