Prime Only Members-Only Article
reporter's notebook

Here’s Why The Border Wall GoFundMe Didn’t Complete Even Basic Permitting

|
May 29, 2019 5:27 p.m.

With Kris Kobach as its general counsel, is it any surprise that We Build The Wall, the GoFundMe seeking to build a border wall with private money, chose not to follow even basic permitting procedures?

The city of Sunland Park, New Mexico ordered wall construction to cease and desist on Tuesday, shortly after We Build The Wall celebrated its first few hundred feet of border barrier, because the group hadn’t received proper approval for the structure.

The wall is currently half-built on the property of a brick company that sits on the U.S.-Mexico border. The wall is taller than the city allows and an environmental impact assessment wasn’t completed, Sunland Park’s mayor Javier Perea said in a news conference Tuesday. The application to construct the wall, submitted Friday, “is incomplete,” he said.

“There’s no site plan turned in to the city of Sunland Park,” he added. “There is also what appears to be some contradictory information in the information that was presented to the city of Sunland Park.”

Why didn’t they complete the permitting first? We Build The Wall founder Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee Air Force vet, hinted in the run-up to construction that they were keeping the location secret to avoid preemptory lawsuits.

Remember powerful people want to stop our progress, so to not tip anyone off we are radio silent! The ACLU would file a lawsuit to impede our wall success if they knew where and when,” he wrote earlier this month.

Yet after the stop work order, he appeared to imply on Facebook that not properly applying for a permit was purposeful, part of an effort to build the structure before the city could stop it.

Kolfage indicated on Twitter all the way back in February that construction was about to begin. In other words, We Build The Wall had time to get permits; it just didn’t.

The group is rallying its supporters to bombard the Sunland Park city government — which was already the subject of nativists’ ire as the former home of the United Constitutional Patriots militia, whose leader was arrested last month — and tell them to let the work go forward.

That militia’s spokesperson, Jim Benvie — who actually met with Kolfage and Kobach earlier this year — is rallying his followers to the effort. Kolfage isn’t holding back, either.


Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30