Sunland Park City Council takes no action in executive session regarding border barrier

El Paso News

sSUNLAND PARK, N.M. (KTSM) During Tuesday’s special City Council meeting in Sunland Park, the topic on the privately-funded border barrier brought out several concerned residents, however, City Council did not take any action on that item.

As KTSM previously reported,  City Council planned to have an executive session Tuesday in response to possible legal action regarding the barrier built on American Eagle Brick Co. property in the city funded by the organization “We Build the Wall.”The lack of action sparked the public to demand transparency and explanations during public comment. 

Many residents expressed frustration over “We Build the Wall” being granted a permit quickly after Mayor Javier Parea announced a cease-and-desist order against the construction of the fence.

The permit was granted and construction continued the following day from receiving the cease-and-desist order.

“I can’t make the two extra rooms in my house that I need so there’s all my stuff just outside, the people are struggling many of us are struggling with all that,” Sunland Park resident Paola Zamora said.

According to Zamora, she’s been trying for more than six months to get a permit to extend her home, and she’s upset the City granted the “We Build the Wall” group a permit much sooner.

“Us who are residents in Sunland Park,  there are plenty of us who are struggling to get permits from the City and I don’t think it’s fair that they from one day to another got a permit,” Zamora said.

Other residents questioned the process the City went through to grant the “We Build the Wall” organization the permit and demanded an investigation.

“Knowing that it was going to be of national attention, it was not treated the way that it should have and I’m assuming that the proper protocol was not followed,” resident Christian Lira said.

During a prior news conference last week, Mayor Javier Parea said staff members acted prematurely by granting the permit and said officials would look more closely into the matter, however after City Council took no action at Tuesday’s meeting, residents continued demanding answers.

“For me, it’s more transparency, accountability, who’s responsible for all this and what are we going to do about it and how as a city can we help the residents now. Are we going to issue permits within days? Then let’s do it for everybody,” resident Arlean Murillo said.

City Council said it’s going to wait and see what comes next. 

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