A group of citizens who say they’ve raised millions in private funding to build sections of border wall along the Southwest U.S. border say they’re still clearing land in preparation for their project, despite requests from local government officials to hold off until their plans can be reviewed.
The Florida based group “We Build the Wall,” claims they’ve raised $25 million toward the wall’s construction, and have already erected a mile of fencing in New Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Now, the group says they want to build a roughly three-mile stretch of barrier on some privately owned property in the flood plains near McAllen.
According to this, the group submitted “general information” last week for the project to the International Boundary and Water Commission, who told the group to stop working until the commission can review whether the project would violate U.S.-Mexico agreements or obstruct waterways.
“We asked that they not continue construction until our review process has been completed,” IBWC foreign affairs officer Sally Spener said.
But Brian Kolfage, founder of “We Build the Wall,” told reporters that his group has no plans to stop clearing the land in preparation for the project.
“This will be the first border barrier that can be built in a flood plain and it’s built to withstand the floods and there is nothing that (has) been built like it,” Kolfage said. “And I think it’s going to change the way these border barriers are built in Texas.”
“There’s not been a stop order. There has been no legal injunction,” he added. “The IBWC has no control over us clearing sugar cane. Any private property owner does not need IBWC’s permission to cut down sugar cane. We can go burn it down if we want to. They have no control.”
Kolfage said his crew won’t start the actual wall building phase of the project until they get the go-ahead, but fired back at reports that his group had been issued a “cease and desist” order, saying his crew was still “burning and churning” in preparation for the wall’s ultimate construction.