The gate of a private half-mile border wall constructed in New Mexico was ordered Monday to stay open after officials said it was built on federal land without a permit.
Most of the private wall built over Memorial Day weekend by triple-amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage’s nonprofit group is on private land, but the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) stepped in after the group started building the barrier’s gate on federal property in early June.
“‘We Build the Wall’ did not receive a permit to construct a gate on federal property,” IBWC spokeswoman Lori Kuczmanski told KVIA. “They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works.”
The gate blocked officials from accessing a levee and dam and also cut off public access to a historic monument, IBWC officials said, according to BuzzFeed News.
The federal agency placed a lock on the gate to ensure it stays open.
Kolfage aggressively shot back at the IBWC’s order on Twitter, saying the agency is a “fine example of over reach” and alleged, without evidence, that it is “planning for mass invasion.”
The IBWC is a fine example of over reach and growing to big. They are over stepping DHS, national security experts and undermining @realDonaldTrump as soon as they locked our gate open we noticed many other gates around el Paso just opened up!! They are planning for mass invasion
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) June 11, 2019
Kolfage said in an email to supporters Tuesday that his group would close the gate “one way or the other.”
“We cannot and will not allow these open borders globalists to help the drug and human traffickers by keeping the gate open,” Kolfage said. “We may need people to join us at the wall in the coming days.”
The IBWC’s order comes less than two weeks after Kolfage said the agency had received a call from the Trump administration authorizing the construction of his group’s wall.
But the IBWC told The Daily Caller News Foundation it had received no such call from the Trump administration. (RELATED: Federal Agencies Push Back On Claim They Sanctioned Private Border Wall Construction)
Kolfage’s group, which is funded by his viral $20 million GoFundMe fundraising campaign launched in December, is also the subject of an investigation from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The investigation was launched in response to consumer complaints.
WINNING!! @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.@JackPosobiec #Trump pic.twitter.com/XcUnMKvK3i
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) May 30, 2019
The owner of the private land where much of the private barrier stands was previously hit with a cease-and-desist order in May after the mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, said it violated city ordinance.
Sunland Park’s order was rescinded two days after it was issued.
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