[h/t to Tiff for this heads up follow up tip]
GoFundMeWall Group Runs Into Wall of Federal Government’s
According to The Hill via BuzzFeed, the “GoFundMe border wall blocked access to a monument” and waterways, including a levee and a dam, has been ordered to keep a gate open indefinitely.”
Officials have ordered a privately funded section of wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep its gate open indefinitely, saying organizers failed to obtain required permits, according to BuzzFeed News.
The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), which oversees waterway issues between the U.S. and Mexico, said the organizers of We Build the Wall, which raised more than $23 million, had not obtained permission to build on federal land.
The half-mile barrier, on the border near Sunland Park, N.M., restricts access to a public monument and waterways, according to the IBWC.The Hill
“They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works,” a water agency spokesperson said.”
“This is normally done well in advance of a construction project,” said Lori Kuczmanski, a spokesperson for the International Boundary and Water Commission, the agency that addresses waterway issues between the US and Mexico. “They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works.”
In response, IBWC officials on Monday afternoon propped open a large gate installed in the wall. The gate, constructed on roughly 33 feet of federal property, had blocked officials from accessing a levee and dam, and cut off public access to a historic monument known as Monument One, the first in a series of obelisks that mark the US–Mexico border from El Paso to Tijuana.
“We’re going to lock it in an open position until we come into a mutual decision on how this gate is going to operate,” Kuczmanski continued.BuzzFeed
In response, Kolfage took to Twitter accusing the IBWC of “over reach and growing to [sic] big” and “overstepping DHS, national security experts and undermining @realDonaldTrump,” because, they allege, they were “planning for mass invasion” and the IBWC were opening up other gates around El Paso.
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
Steve Bannon, who sits on the “advisory board” of Kolfage’s new charity said “the group selected the section of the New Mexico border to build the wall because it was “the number one most important mile to close.”
However, according to the CBP agency, that the section of land the group built on ““is not connected to our efforts,” and that it had already prioritized building border barriers in locations the “will most impact border security operations,”” and that the wall built by the North Dakota company Fisher Industries, who has its own history of troubles, was “not prioritized under current funding.”
Meanwhile, according to BuzzFeed, the state of Florida has opened a complaint in the Kolfage’s charity listed under a company Kolfage set up well in advance of his GoFundMe and transferred funds to after shutting down the fundraising page goal and end date.
We Build the Wall has come under increased scrutiny since its viral online fundraiser, most recently prompting an investigation by the state of Florida, where the group is incorporated as a nonprofit.
“In response to consumer complaints, including those referred by the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has opened an investigation into this charity,” a Florida Department of Agriculture spokesperson told WLRN.