The privately funded wall has a new hole in it as a federal agency forced it open claiming that the group did not follow the correct procedures for permitting. The section of the wall that was forced open was said to be blocking a road that leads to a levee that is owned by the United States Government.
They are claiming that they built the wall on federal land without having the proper permission and authority from the federal government.
Lori Kuczmanski, who is spokesperson, has said, “It’s not the border wall that we have a problem with. The problem is that the gate is on federal property, You just can’t come in and build a gate on somebody’s property without asking — especially not giving them the keys and walking away from it. It’s not right.”
The lock was removed and the gate was opened to allow access to the road that led to the levee.
That following night, the commissioner that was appointed by the president had made a decision to keep the gate closed at night because of security. He also decided that the gate would stay open during the day to allow for road access.
In response to the move to force the gate open Brian Kolfage, who is the We Build the Wall founder, called for commissioner to resign in response to his actions regarding the gate.
The We Build the Wall group is taking legal action against the federal agency responsible for force the gate open. Kolfage mentioned, “Just like we saw with the City of Sunland Park, we will prevail. Our lawyers have been working on this for weeks, and we will regain control over the gate shortly.”
He also stated, “We are working with the water commission to schedule times to have it open for them. When they are not using it, it will remain locked and secure.”
Proper permitting is currently being pursued.
Kuczmanski has stated, “We are going to maintain operational control of the gate until the permit is processed. And we’re still in the permitting process.”
The federal agency handles all the details of any boundary and water treaties between the U.S. and Mexico. The agency is also responsible for operating flood levees, boundary monuments, and wastewater treatment plants along the border. It also operates the American Dam near the new wall.
The federal agency stated this past week that, “The USIBWC is concerned about the safety and security of our employees and the infrastructure at the American Dam, which is next to the privately-constructed gate.
Despite USIBWC requests to locate the gate further from the American Dam, the private gate was constructed in a way that may channel undocumented immigrants into the American Dam area. When the proper documentation is received for the permit, USIBWC will continue to process the permit application.”
The federal agency was asked by the ACLU to intervene in an attempt to stop the building of the wall. Kolfage stated that the owner of the land actually has the right to limit access to the road since it sits on his personal property. The property owner can also limit access to the monument that sits near the new border fence.
It has been said that the federal agency was only recently concerned about the gate because of the pressure of the ACLU.
The permitting procedure is still being considered and may take up to six months or more for it to be approved. The federal agency is asking that a hydrology study be performed and a drainage report be prepared for permitting review.
The agency spokesperson has stated, “They’re lacking paperwork and information that we need to make a final determination. Including a hydrology report and a drainage report.
Usually, everybody is very cooperative, and they well in advance tell us their intent, and they give us all their plans, and all their specifications, and all their documents.
And we say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ and we proceed from there.” For right now the wall is still being constructed and the gate is closed at night. Until a final decision can be determined regarding the gate the control will be left in the hands of the federal agency.