A private company has restarted construction of a half-mile section of border wall in Sunland Park, New Mexico, after being ordered on Wednesday to stop due to permit issues.
What’s the background?
After Congress refused to give President Donald Trump the funding he requested for the construction of a border wall, We Build The Wall started a GoFundMe campaign to privately fund the project and raised more than $23 million.
On Monday, company founder Brian Kolfage announced that his company had begun construction on part of the wall. But two days later, the mayor of the city that included the construction site, Sunland Park, New Mexico, had ordered the company to immediately stop construction.
Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea said the city had “not provided any permits” and had “not approved of the construction that has gone up already.” The company itself claimed that it had already submitted all proper permits, but the city contested that.
Without offering proof, Kolfage accused city leaders of stopping the project because they had been “paid off” to “lie and shut down the wall project” by Mexican cartels.
However, by Thursday, the issues seemed to have been resolved.
“WINNING!” Kolfage wrote in a tweet on Thursday “@WeBuildtheWall was given the green light yesterday afternoon by the city of Sunland Park to resume construction, and our permits were re-issued. From the start We Build The Wall, Inc complied with all regulations as required by law as we stated.”
Kolfage told the Texas Tribune that the current section of the wall his company was working on would cost between $6 million and $8 million.
After the company failed for months to give updates about the project’s progress despite raising millions of dollars, it faced accusations that it had scammed donors. Kolfage would later say that the reason he had not updated donors was because “powerful people want to stop our progress” and he didn’t want to “tip anyone off.”