We Build the Wall, the private nonprofit constructing a border wall on private lands bordering Mexico, was forced to halt its current project near Mission, Texas over a legal challenge filed by the National Butterfly Center, which operates nearby.
#BORDERNEWS A temporary restraining order has been filed against We Build The Wall by the National Butterfly Center citing “imminent and irreparable harm” by the defendants conduct. In my report on @kgbt at 6 you’ll hear both sides of the story. @WeBuildtheWall @NatButterflies pic.twitter.com/71wXD2JOC5
— Sydney Hernandez (@SydneyKGBT) December 4, 2019
“The property owner down there was just fed up with everything that was going on, on his property, constantly having trash on his property and the threat of the cartels and the drugs and the crime, he was done with it,” Brian Kolfage, president of We Build the Wall, told CBS 4 last month. “And he’s not getting anything from the local community and so this was a way for him to be able to get protection on his property and on his land.”
The construction caught the attention of Father Roy Snipes, a pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, who brought a reporter for a boat ride to document the construction of the private border wall. The National Butterfly Center also repeatedly voiced opposition to a border wall.
The situation escalated with online attacks between Snipes, the Butterfly Center and We Build the Wall, culminating with a temporary restraining order Tuesday against Kolfage that requires the group to cease work on the wall for two weeks, according to CBS 4.
“The document states that the campaign has demonstrated irreparable harm to the National Butterfly Center since the campaign has ‘committed willfully, maliciously and with an actual and subjective intent to commit great harm to the plaintiff,’” KGBT reports.
Fisher Industries, a government contractor approved to build Trump’s border wall, began work on the private project for We Build the Wall in Mission on November 11 with the intent to construct 3.5 miles of barrier along the banks of the Rio Grande River.
Kolfage said the barrier’s design will allow wildlife to pass through, and touted other advantages over past designs in his interview with CBS 4 last month.
He said it’s “the first barrier that will be able to be built on the river bank or close to the river bank instead of miles inland which is not really effective.”
It’s unclear how much of the project has been completed when construction was forced to stop this week. The project is the second private barrier for We Build the Wall, which previously completed a wall near Sunland, New Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the news site officials in Texas are aware of the Mission project, but the agency isn’t involved.
“The United States Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector was notified of the intentions of a private entity to use its own funds to build a barrier on private land adjacent to the international boundary,” CBP wrote in a prepared statement. “But the entity did not consult Border Patrol on the design, location, or specifics of the construction.”
A hearing is now scheduled in an Edinburg courtroom to settle the dispute in Mission.
In the meantime, We Build the Wall is already prepping for its next project.
We are working on securing project 3! It’s going to be the best one yet guys. We will never stop fighting to protect America from the dangerous cartels. Our border agents deserve the tools necessary to fight these terrorist. @DonaldJTrumpJr @DeplorableChoir @FogCityMidge
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) December 4, 2019
“We are working on securing project 3! It’s going to be the best one yet guys,” Kolfage posted to Twitter Wednesday. “We will never stop fighting to protect America from the dangerous cartels. Our border agents deserve the tools necessary to fight these terrorists.”