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Judge temporarily blocks border wall project started by triple amputee vet and activist, Brian Kolfage

Privately funded border wall construction headed by "We Build The Wall" near El Paso, Texas in May 2019. (Courtesy of We Build The Wall Inc.)
December 06, 2019

A judge issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday against the latest border wall project spearheaded by We Build The Wall, a nonprofit advocacy group created by triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, which has been involved in constructing private portions of wall along the U.S. southern border.

The federal government filed a lawsuit against the private wall group and other entities involved in the project on behalf of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), The Brownsville Herald reported. The IBWC has complained We Build the Wall has proceeded with wall construction efforts near Mission, Texas without adequately detailing their plans and without the authority of an international treaty permitting their border actions.

Fisher Industries, Fisher Sand and Gravel Co., and Neuhaus and Sons LLC were also named in the lawsuit, as various entities involved in the construction project.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane removed We Build The Wall from the lawsuit after the court determined the nonprofit group had little involvement in the actual construction at issue. Judge Crane did reportedly grant the government’s request to stop construction efforts until a further hearing on Dec. 12.

The lawsuit came with a government motion for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the group from continuing a project to build a steel bollard wall on a flood plain near Bentsen and Anzalduas Parks.

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The IBWC complaint says private assessments of the project provided to them “contained very little substance and failed to show the extent of any hydraulic testing that may have been conducted by WBTW or Fisher Industries.”

In response to the documents We Build The Wall and Fisher Industries did provide, the IBWC responded two days later through its general counsel, requesting the private wall team submit a full hydrology analysis and an analysis of a 1970 treaty. In turn, the IBWC wanted the private wall team to hold off on construction until the IBWC could review their construction model and discuss the boundary treaty with Mexican counterparts.

The IBWC further claims that after sending their requests to the wall group, the group began clearing out brush along their proposed project area beginning at the banks of the Rio Grande River and moving around 120 feet inland.

The treaty relates to any construction that would cause alterations in the flow of water on either side of the river.

“To date, WBTW has completely cleared almost the entirety of the riverbank and continues to clear cut the remaining land on which the Defendants intend to construct a bollard structure, wall or similar structure,” court documents said.

We Build the Wall has reportedly raised $25 million for wall construction projects along the southern border.

On Friday, Kolfage tweeted his criticism of the hydrology arguments used to stall the wall project, suggesting Mexico has not held up its side of the flood plain concerns.


This is not the first time We Build The Wall’s construction has clashed with the IBWC. We Build the Wall previously raised $22 million for a wall project at a location bordering El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, N.M. While that 1-mile wall was constructed primarily on private property, that property abuts a path used by IBWC personnel.

The IBWC chained open a gate placed in the wall to grant them access. After a complaint, the IBWC did eventually allow for the gate to be locked closed at nights, partly alleviating concerns illegal aliens can easily cross where the gate is locked open.