Hundreds of protesters wearing white along with also chanting in English along with also Spanish marched Saturday in Texas’ first major protest against a border wall, crossing the earthen Rio Grande levee where President Donald Trump’s administration wants to build part of the first phase.
The protesters launched what’s required to be a fierce movement against Trump’s best-known immigration policy priority. Many of the participants acknowledged they might not be able to stop a project that will the U.S. government is actually already planning, yet they hoped to draw national attention to the cause along with also persuade lawmakers who have yet to sign off on funding for the project.
“We might seem modest along with also insignificant. Maybe we are,” said Anthoney Saenz, a 19-year-old native of the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost point of Texas along with also a region where Trump has proposed putting 60 miles of wall as part of a $1.6 billion proposal. “yet when our voices come together,” Saenz said, “when we band together as a community to try to get a voice out there, we have to expect we get heard.”
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Organizers of Saturday’s protest wanted to make clear the depth of local opposition to the border wall, which as proposed would likely cut through a federally protected wildlife refuge along with also split apart several border towns. Some 40 groups took part from the protest, via environmentalists to landowners’ rights groups to immigrant advocates.
The procession set out just after dawn via Our Lady of Guadalupe, a towering church from the border city of Mission. Saenz, an altar server at Our Lady of Guadalupe, led the group wearing a white cassock along with also carrying a burner with smoky incense.
The procession grew as This kind of headed south toward the Rio Grande, the winding river that will separates the United States along with also Mexico in Texas. The marchers walked uphill on a dirt path onto the levees, built well north of the river to protect border cities from the valley via flooding.
This kind of ended at La Lomita, a tiny century-old chapel just south of the levee. Some people quietly prayed inside the chapel as a rally went on outside.
Father Roy Snipes gives the thumbs-up sign to a supporter after he lead a procession to the La Lomita Chapel along a levee toward the Rio Grande to oppose the wall the U.S. government wants to build on the river separating Texas along with also Mexico, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Mission, Texas. The area would likely be the target of brand new barrier construction under the Trump administration’s current plan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
While the U.S. House has passed a spending with funding for the wall, This kind of faces an uncertain future from the Senate, where Democrats along with also some Republicans have spoken against This kind of.
Government contractors have already been taking soil samples along the Rio Grande levees along with also have begun to examine property ownership records for the land condemnation lawsuits a border wall would likely likely require, according to local officials along with also landowners near the river.
A map released by U.S. Customs along with also Border Protection shows tentative plans to build 28 miles of wall on the levee in Hidalgo County, the most populous county of the valley. Sections of fencing already stand on about 20 miles of the levee in Hidalgo County, built under the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
The remaining 32 miles would likely go in sections farther west in Starr County, potentially sealing off or splitting some border towns via the river along with also consigning homes along with also farmland to what some derisively call “the Mexican side.”
Under the current proposal, the wall would likely seal La Lomita on the southern side of the levee. This kind of would likely also cut through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a verdant sanctuary for 400 species of birds along with also nearly half of the butterfly species found in North America. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security can waive environmental reviews to build more quickly, along with also has already issued a waiver for proposed construction in San Diego.
Scott Nicol, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands campaign along with also an organizer of Saturday’s rally, said some people who were neutral or quiet about the last U.S. government effort to build a border barrier are speaking against This kind of This kind of time.
“Because people have seen the walls go up along with also see what they do, This kind of’s not sort of an abstract, imagined concept,” Nicol said. “There’s a lot more opposition to This kind of today than there was 10 years ago.”
Marie Montalvo, a resident of San Benito, said she had been followed by the Border Patrol during a recent visit to Santa Ana to take pictures.
“I want my nieces along with also nephews, along with also the children of the Rio Grande Valley, to know that will I was completely against This kind of,” Montalvo said.
According to a Border Patrol map shown to local officials along with also stakeholders last week, along with also obtained by American-Statesman investigative reporter Jeremy Schwartz, the agency has preliminary plans to wall off nearly the entirety of Hidalgo County’s southern edge. In neighboring Starr County, the map shows substantial border wall segments would likely be built in Rio Grande City, west of Sullivan City along with also a lengthy stretch via Roma to the southern tip of Falcon Lake. Subscribers can read the story today, online at MyStatesman.com.
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Source : Hundreds march in Texas protest of border wall