How a private border wall sparked anger and death threats in a small New Mexico town

EL PASO, Texas – Javier Perea, mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, and his administration, had a relatively peaceful Memorial Day weekend.

When they got back to work, they were flooded with messages and calls from across the United States alleging the city’s involvement in cartels and pushing them to approve the construction of a border fence.

A group called We Build the Wall had quickly erected part of a 20-foot tall fence along a mountainside at the edge of the city limits. The fence thrust the quiet southern New Mexico town of 14,407 into the national spotlight when the builders began touting it as the first privately built barrier between the U.S. And Mexico.

After the city halted construction of the fence to evaluate its laws, We Build the Wall founder Brian Kolfage began tweeting that the city was corrupt and alleging that the project was being stopped, prompting thousands to flood the city’s phone lines.

A caller the next day alleged the city was involved in organized crime and threatened to kill Perea and his family, according to Police Chief Javier Guerra. The call came from a line that could not be traced, Guerra said.

Explore more:  ESPN treats NCAA Women's Tournament as premier event

Perea had police patrol near his home to ensure his safety, according to Guerra.

The threats and name-calling are “a cheap blow to the city of Sunland Park,” Perea said. “But I am not going to stoop to that level. I am not going there.”.

We Build the Wall, was started by Kolfage, an Air Force veteran, and is being led by a group that includes Kris Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state, and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

They argue a wall will help deter migrants from crossing the southwest border.

American Eagle, which owns the property where the fence is located, operates against Mount Cristo Rey, a religious site for Catholic faithful, and sits on a boundary between three states and two countries. Monument One, a federal marker, demonstrates the boundaries near the business’ property.

The quick construction of the wall evaded a weekslong process in which plans for fences and walls are vetted by the city’s planning commission. Depending on the size of the project, the commission is able to hear opinions can hear comments from the public and developers before they make a recommendation to the City Council to vote on.

Kobach, general counsel for We Build the Wall, claims the nonprofit first arrived in Sunland Park on April 6 and it took 57 days for the project to come into fruition. Contractors constructed the bollard-type fence over the Memorial Day weekend and announced it the day of the holiday.

The project was briefed to President Donald Trump, Kobach claimed.

Explore more:  carolina football

“He has told me several times, that he 100% endorses what We Build the Wall is doing,” Kobach said during a news conference in front of the newly built fence.

Carmen Marquez, who has lived in Sunland Park for decades, said the private border fence casts a bad light on the city. She said she is worried about how her city is being perceived and calls the way We Build the Wall treated Sunland Park “filthy.”.

“They (We Build the Wall) don’t care,” she said.

But those who have spoken in favor of the wall feel just the opposite. When construction of the wall resumed, several members of Angel Families spoke at a news conference. Mary Ann Mendoza, an advisory board member of We Build the Wall, spoke about the loss of her son, Brandon Mendoza, who was killed in 2014 by a drunk driver who was in the U.S. Illegally.

“My son’s life was snuffed out in 2014 by a drunk repeat illegal alien criminal who was allowed to stay in our country,” Mendoza said. “We are all in support for legal immigration. Illegal immigration is what we don’t accept. It is a criminal act in itself and we need to stop the flow. This (the wall) is a beautiful thing and has affected every Angel Family.”.

Robert Ardovino, co-owner of Ardovino’s Desert Crossing restaurant, said it’s frustrating that national politics are playing out in the city.

“Somehow, with a quick influx of money, things can get built and questions can get asked after the fact,” he said. “Environmentally, ecologically, it’s sad to see another permanent scar placed on Mount Cristo Rey. It’s a natural, beautiful mountain and unfortunately what’s happening on that side of it is more and more destruction.”.

Explore more:  unh football

A federal fence built during the George W. Bush administration is in his restaurant’s backyard. Migrants and border patrol alike find themselves walking near his property – sometimes agents on horseback patrol through his parking lot.

He said the area is a peaceful place. There is no sense of danger and there aren’t individuals walking around with guns, he added.

“In the 25 years that I’ve been here, the only armed people that have been around me are these so-called militia,” he said.

Armed members of the United Constitutional Patriots set up a border camp to monitor migrant crossings in April, less than a mile away from Ardovino’s. They detained a group of more than 300 migrants who crossed the border through a gap in the fence.

The group later was told to leave its site because they were trespassing on railroad and city property.

Follow Aaron Montes on Twitter: @aaronmontes91.

Related Posts

Terms & Conditions

Maybe you are interested UFC 247: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian odds, picks and best bets 5 things for Week 4: Chubb’s chance; Pressure on Malzahn Comcast…

Return & Refund Policy

Maybe you are interested Drew Carey reflects on final conversation with former fiancĂ©e Amie Harwick before her tragic death Russo leads Temple past Navy 24-17 Photo tour:…

Cookies Policy

Maybe you are interested Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots: Live stream, how to watch, odds, time Raiders hire Rod Woodson as assistant Want to honor…


Maybe you are interested First performers announced for Billboard Music Awards Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton placed on 15-day DL Two studies find big jump in teen use…

Privacy Policy

Maybe you are interested Prince Harry, during royal tour of Africa, recreates unforgettable Princess Diana moment This Date in Baseball-Week Ahead James’ free throw gives Lakers 114-113…


Maybe you are interested 2021 American Express Fantasy Golf Power Rankings On the Verge: Carly Rose Sonenclar prepping first album Anna Kendrick wants Trump to know she…