Brian Kolfage and his We Build the Wall GoFundMe project are continuing to generate not only sections of border wall but headlines as well. The latest news isn’t of the positive sort, however. The Hill reports that a gate in the newly constructed section of barrier is being locked open by order of an international group charged with overseeing “waterway issues” between America and Mexico. And a wall with a permanently open gate isn’t of quite as much use, don’t you think?
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.
What business the IBWC has in matters of border security remains a bit cloudy. According to their mission statement, they “provide binational solutions to issues that arise during the application of United States – Mexico treaties regarding boundary demarcation, national ownership of waters, sanitation, water quality, and flood control…”
But the story isn’t as clear-cut as the coverage at The Hill suggests. Reading into some of the local coverage, a few more nuggets emerge. First of all, there was always supposed to be a gate there. While most of the wall is on private land, a concrete pad had to be poured near one end that covered federal land. The gate was only closed over the weekend because they needed 72 hours for the concrete to cure.
And how did the IBWC get involved? You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the ACLU had been calling people in the local area and urging them to contact the commission to complain. The excuse being used was that the wall blocked access to Monument One, a structure marking the three-way border of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico. But according to Kolfage, it was always intended that both the IBWC and CBP would take charge of the gate and determine when it would be locked or unlocked for access to the monument and how CBP would staff the gate to prevent the entry of illegal aliens.
Also, officials have already agreed to keep the gate locked at night for “security reasons” and there will be border enforcement agents in the area when it’s unlocked. That seems to have relieved concerns over the gate essentially rendering the entire section of wall useless.
What this entire flap is beginning to look like is an effort by those who oppose any new border wall construction to stir up trouble and undermine the effort. That can’t be allowed to slow progress though. Once sections of the wall go up it would take some serious audacity on the part of liberal elected officials to try to tear them down.