Butterfly Center asks judge to stop Texas border wall - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Butterfly Center asks judge to stop Texas border wall

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 10:00 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — The nonprofit National Butterfly Center has asked a federal judge to stop border wall activity on its property as the Trump administration gears up to build new walls and fencing in South Texas and may soon win funding for more.

In a motion filed late Monday, center director Marianna Trevino Wright says heavy machinery has been driving through their property for a week, including a road grader accompanied by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle. Wright alleged that someone had cut the lock on a center fence and replaced it with a lock belonging to CBP.

CBP has announced it will start this month on the first of 33 miles of new walls and fencing in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Congress funded construction last year.

Heavy construction equipment started to appear last week in the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost region of Texas. Facing strong opposition from many landowners, CBP has said it will start construction on federally owned land, likely on property that's part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The planned construction would eventually cut through the butterfly center, a state park, and a century-old chapel on the bank of the Rio Grande, the river that forms the Texas-Mexico border.

“We will not stand idly by as the bulldozers roll in,” Wright said in a statement.

While the construction Congress funded last March was labeled by many as fencing, CBP's plans call for a concrete wall that extends to the height of the existing levee, topped by 18-foot steel bollards and with a 150-foot enforcement zone cleared in front.

And more construction may soon be funded. Congressional negotiators trying to avoid another government shutdown reached an agreement Monday to fund an additional 55 miles of barriers in the Rio Grande Valley.

Top Republicans declared victory over Democrats who have vowed not to fund a border wall, saying that they had won support for new barriers anyway.

Scott Nicol, a longtime resident of the valley and co-chair of the Sierra Club's Borderlands team, accused Congress of continuing “to play word games” and “ignoring the real, on-the-ground damage that border walls will inflict.”

“These new border walls will destroy homes and farms and wildlife refuges, just like the ones Congress funded in 2018,” Nicol said.

The butterfly center and its governing body, the North American Butterfly Association, asked in their motion to ban government agents from “taking any action” on center property “in furtherance of the construction of a border wall.”

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. But government lawyers filed paperwork saying they would respond to the butterfly center's request by Feb. 22.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>