SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico — Officials in this Southern New Mexico town received thousands of calls on Wednesday in support of a privately funded border fence. This came the day after Mayor Javier Perea issued a cease and desist order stopping further work on the border barrier because it lacked a municipal construction permit.
“I got 800 calls on my answering machine in one hour. They’re all calling from out of state. They are in favor of the wall,“ said a Sunland Park city official who declined to be named.
The official said the calls were the result of a web-based campaign from supporters of the structure being built on American Eagle Brick Co. property just east of Mt. Cristo Rey, in Sunland Park city limits. The steel-bollard fence was funded by a GoFundMe campaign spearheaded by We Build the Wall.
Members of the group said on Twitter they plan a “massive“ rally in support of the structure this Thursday at the wall site. They also urged supporters to keep pressuring Sunland Park to capitulate.
“Please keep calling Sunland Park at 575-589-7585 and respectfully tell them to stop playing games with their bogus stop work order. Keep calling and keep the pressure on,“ said Dustin Stockton, vice president of We Build the Wall.
On Wednesday, the receptionist at Sunland Park City Hall answered non-stop telephone calls, writing down whether the caller was in favor or opposed to the border fence.
“OK, ma’am. I’ll tell the mayor you support the wall,“ she said. “No ma’am, we’re not in Mexico, we’re in New Mexico“.
Neither Mayor Perea nor members of City Council contacted by KTSM 9 News were available for comment. The City issued a statement late in the morning saying the town had too many press inquiries to handle and that it wouldn’t be making a comment today. The City called for a press conference Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Perea on Tuesday said the City issued the cease and desist order because the property owner didn’t have a permit. He said Sunland Park officials said the application lacked a site survey, impact statement and other requirements. He also said city officials received contradictory information from the petitioner.
However, supporters of the wall said on Twitter that a Sunland Park official who visited the site last week gave the fence a green light. This assertion couldn’t be verified on Wednesday because city officials made themselves unavailable for comment.