Controversy over gate access to Monument One in Sunland Park

News

The apparent controversy raised over whether a new barrier put in place around historical marker Monument One is blocking access to the public has legal teams discussing regulations.

The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) oversees Monument One, which is the point where Texas, New Mexico and Mexico all meet. The newly constructed border barrier, built and privately funded by the group “We Build the Wall,” now has a gate installed, which may block access to the public monument. 

On Sunday, KTSM went to the border barrier in Sunland Park at which point the gate was closed, however, “We Build the Wall” says the IBWC was aware of it and said they had an agreement. 

“The only reason on the construction site, we have the gate closed,  is so we can let the concrete cure for the backside of the base, it’s got to cure for over 72-hours so and then nobody is there. We sent everybody home on Friday night,” Mike Furey, a foreman for “We Build the Wall” said. 

The group said the gate does not have any locks or chains until federal agencies put a plan in place.

“Both the IBWC and the Border Patrol will have a role in the future when determining when the gate is locked and when it is not,” Kris Kobach, general counsel for “We Build the Wall” said.

When KTSM spoke with the IBWC last week, it said the public would continue having access to Monument One. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico began a call to citizens on Friday asking them to email the IBWC because they believe the barrier is unlawful, saying the gate in place is blocking access to the monument.

“We’re respecting their review process and I will say this, there are multiple ways the public could have access. The IBWC and the Border Patrol could agree to certain hours that the gate would be unlocked, they could agree to certain conditions like maybe if there is a Border Patrol officer there when the gate could be unlocked. So really, they’re going to have the bigger role down the road in making those decisions, those two agencies,” Kobach said.

The legal teams for both the IBWC and “We Build the Wall” are expected to continue discussing regulations surrounding the gate. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.