Fake Border Signs Were Placed 'at Request of the Government,' Worker Alleges

A supervisory worker with a Texas construction company reportedly said that fake "No trespassing" signs were placed on border levee construction sites "at the request of the government."

Border Report was the first to report on the signs on Tuesday. The signs reportedly had mislabeled Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and had wrong phone numbers. Two new signs were placed at the National Butterfly Center this week, a private nature preserve in Mission, Texas.

The signs were placed without government authorization and will be removed, workers told Border Report on Wednesday.

Sullivan Land Services Co. (SLS), which was assigned to build the border wall under the Donald Trump administration, has put up those signs along the Rio Grande for public safety, according to the supervisory worker.

The company is now responsible for fixing holes in the border levee that resulted from the border wall construction, according to the outlet.

However, local environmentalists disagree with the intention that the signs were put up for public safety and told Border Report that they are meant to keep the media and the community from entering the levee areas and the borderlands.

"They had no authorization, random agents phone numbers, non-working numbers, false information, like the controlled restricted air space," National Butterfly Center Executive Director Marianna Treviño-Wright told Border Report.

Newsweek contacted SLS for comments including questions about who ordered the company to install the signs, but the SLS referred the publication to their client, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for answers.

Scott Nicol, another environmentalist, said that Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are trying to control the land in between the levee and the river as "their theatre of operation so they can decide who can go back there and [who] can't."

"SLS has no authority one way or the other. If a sign was going to go up it would have to be installed by somebody who has authority to make the threat of arresting people. So if CBP felt like they have that authority then they'd be the ones to actually [to] put the sign up, not SLS," Nicol told Border Report.

But Christian Alvarez, a Border Patrol agent, argued that his agency, CBP, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) didn't authorize those signs, according to Border Report.

Fake no trespassing signs
The "no trespassing" signs had wrong phone numbers and mislabeled Customs and Border Protection. Above, a young girl from Guatemala rests on railroad tracks after she crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. on June 21 in La Joya, Texas. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Construction companies have been reportedly working near the Rio Grande in Mission, Texas to build 15-foot concrete panels that include 6-foot steel bollards, developing the levee system in the area, the Texas Tribune reported earlier this month. The levee system protects the Rio Grande Valley from flooding.

According to the publication, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that construction is part of the DHS' plans that were announced in April to minimize the risk of flooding to communities residing close to the border in the Rio Grande Valley near McAllen, Texas. But the system development "does not involve expanding the border barrier."

Newsweek contacted CBP, the National Butterfly Center, Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston, and Sierra Club but didn't hear back by the time of publication. The story will be updated as soon as new information is made available.