Organization building part of border wall may lack proper permits

A New Mexico mayor said Tuesday that a cease-and-desist order has been filed after a private group began building a portion of wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Reports surfaced in the past few days that organizers with the private group We Build the Wall started building an 18-foot steel bollard wall to fill in gaps in existing barriers.

“The city has not provided any permits, it has not approved of the construction that has gone up already,” Peter Ibardo, a city spokesman in Sunland Park, N.M., told The Texas Tribune. “They built the structure without authority or any building permits from the city.”

We Build the Wall, which lists former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) and former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon as members of its leadership team on its website, began raising money to build the wall through a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year. The group has raised more than $20 million so far.

Javier Perea, the mayor of Sunland Park, said the wall is taller than city ordinance allows, local NBC affiliate KTSM reported.

Perea told local news outlet CBS4 that the group submitted incomplete paperwork on Friday before beginning construction over Memorial Day weekend.

While the group began building the wall on private land, it still needs to go through the proper protocol with the city.

Ibardo, the city’s spokesperson, added that there were no site plans or recent surveys submitted to the city, which are required to begin construction.

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

Kobach told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday that the owner of the private property went through the permitting process and that “official inspectors were on the property,” adding that construction would likely be completed Tuesday or Wednesday.

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