New Mexico mayor issues cease-and-desist order to private company building border fence

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A legal dispute unfolded this week between private contractors who have built a half-mile fence between a New Mexico city and Mexico, and the mayor of that city who is arguing that the fence didn’t get proper authorization.

“We Build the Wall,” began construction of the border fence on private land in Sunland Park, N.M., last Friday using money raised through crowdfunding, the Dallas Morning News reported. The city shares a border with El Paso, Texas and Mexico.

FILE: A construction worker watches a section of fencing be moved for a privately-funded border fence on private land in Sunland Park, New Mexico. 

The company had planned to finish construction by Friday, but Sunland Park’s Mayor Javier Perea said Tuesday that the 18-foot fence surpasses the city’s maximum height of 6 feet. On Wednesday, he issued a cease-and-desist order.

Dustin Stockton, vice president and co-founder of We Build the Wall, said the company was undeterred by Perea and felt that the company was in compliance with city regulations.

“Sunland Park sent out a building inspector out to inspect the site before we started building,” Stockton said. “There was an inspector on site when we did the first concrete pour, and each time along the way we were given permission to continue to build while our application was processed.”

Perea told KOAT 7 that the cease-and-desist has been turned over to a municipal court. We Build the Wall said they will hold a rally Thursday in support of finishing the project.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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