Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pro-Trump Group Ordered to Stop Border Wall Construction

An international commission with jurisdiction over the U.S./Mexico border has asked a private organization to stop the construction of a border wall.

We Build The Wall, which raised $25 million from pro-Trump donors and constructed several miles of fence on private land in New Mexico, has been asked by the International Boundary and Water Commission to halt construction on a proposed border fence south of Mission, Texas until they can demonstrate the project will not obstruct waterways or violate an international treaty with Mexico.

The proposed 3.5-mile fence will be built on a portion of a private landowner’s 6,000-acre property on the Rio Grande River.

“Last week we sent We Build The Wall a letter requesting they wait until they submit the required information and the review process is complete so we did request that of them before continuing construction until further review of the project,” Sally Speener, Secretary of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission tells the news site Border Report.

“One of the main thing we consider of our review of projects in the flood plain is whether those projects are consistent with the 1970 Boundary Treaty, which prohibits construction of works that would obstruct the normal or flood flows of the river,” Speener tells Border Report.

The International Boundary and Water Commission was created in 1889 to resolve issues between the U.S. and Mexico along the border, centering mostly on water use from the Rio Grande and Colorado rivers, which farmers in both the U.S. and Mexico use to irrigate crops.

The Rio Grande is also regulated by a 1970 treaty between the U.S. and Mexico.

Farmers downstream rely on the river to irrigate their crops, and anything that obstructs or reroutes the flow could impact farming.

The group is currently preparing the site for construction and is clearing out vegetation. The company contracted to build the barrier, Fisher Construction, received a letter from the IWBC asking them to hold off until hydrological studies have been completed to assess how the project could impact the Rio Grande.

We Build The Wall founder Brian Kolfage says he and the construction firm have already prepared reports and submitted them to the IWBC. Despite the request to halt construction until further information is turned over, Kolfage says the project will continue.

“There’s not been a stop order. There has been no legal injunction,” Kolfage told Border Report. “The IBWC has no control over us clearing sugar cane. Any private property owner does not need IBWC’s permission to cut down sugar cane. We can go burn it down if we want to. They have no control.”

“Dozers are burning and churning!” Kolfage tweeted, featuring a photo of construction equipment clearing the land.

AAN Staff
AAN Staff
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