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Homeless Veterans Refuse To Leave Makeshift Campground

By ABC-7’s Jill Galus

Last week, ABC-7 showed you a homeless compound just below Interstate 10 in Las Cruces. New Mexico Department of Transportation officials said it was a safety issue and gave the homeless living there a week to get out.

After more than a week though, the homeless veterans and their compound are still there. Thomas Sundvor sits with a fellow camper within his campground, defiant over what he says are his rights to stay where he is.

Dwellers say it’s comfortable below Interstate 10, but the problem is they’re living on state land.

Not only does NMDOT say the people are trespassing, but they add it’s a huge safety issue as well as a sanitation problem.

We spotted human waste surrounding the campground. But despite warnings, campers say they’re not leaving.

“We’re gonna stay here and we’re not gonna get bulldozed or bullnosed outta here. I think we’re tougher than any police force you can shake a stick at…we’re gonna stay here until our stuff is done. Nobody ever wants to be homeless for the rest of their lives out here,” said Sundvor.

NMDOT officials say city and state agencies are coming together to develop a clean-up process for the area, which could be as soon as next week.

Stay tuned to ABC-7 for any new information as this story develops.

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