In Rio Grande Valley, Anxiety Surrounds Imminent Border Wall Construction

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An excavator confirmed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be for border wall construction sits on La Parida Banco National Wildlife Refuge land.

Courtesy / National Butterfly Center

An excavator confirmed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be for border wall construction sits on La Parida Banco National Wildlife Refuge land.

MISSION –  At the 100-acre National Butterfly Center just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, local schoolchildren and tourists stopped to watch and snap photos of the exotic birds and colorful butterflies that flock to the native flowers and trees on the property.

But this sanctuary is no longer just a hotspot for wildlife. It’s also become an epicenter in the national debate over President Donald Trump’s border wall. Not long from now, a wall meant to deter drug smugglers and border crossers could cut off the southern 70 acres of mostly pristine forest along the Rio Grande.

The center’s staff and supporters say the wall is not only harmful to wildlife but completely unnecessary.

“In the four years that I’ve worked here, we’ve had an estimated 24,000 schoolchildren go through here on school trips,” said Luciano Guerra, who does education and outreach for the center. “We have never once had those children exposed to any kind of illegal activity here.”

The conflict over the border wall heated up last week, with contractors staging heavy equipment west of the butterfly center and marking out a line approximately halfway up the levee meant to hold back flooding on the Rio Grande.

Besides the butterfly center, other properties targeted for construction include a more than 150-year-old chapel and a family cemetery maintained by descendants of a mixed-race couple fleeing slavery in Alabama in the 1800s. One descendant, Sylvia Ramirez, said she’s worried a road will be built over the bodies of her ancestors, whose graves lie near the levee where the wall would be built.

A truck rolls on the levee road past La Lomita chapel.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

A truck rolls by on the levee road past La Lomita chapel.

Some of the early signs of construction were subtle. Halfway up the levee near the butterfly center, a series of pink flags marked where construction could soon begin. But the excavator parked on La Parida Banco National Wildlife Refuge land west of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park will ultimately be used for wall construction, said a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.

Construction on part of the wall is scheduled to begin in mid- to late February, said the spokesman, who asked for anonymity because he’s not authorized to comment on the wall.

For Guerra, 62, who has lived in the Rio Grande Valley city of Mission his whole life, time playing outdoors as a child inspired a lifelong love of nature. With 70 of the sanctuary’s 100 acres trapped behind the wall, he wonders where the children who visit the preserve will go. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park just down the road also will have most of its land south of the wall.

“Kids nowadays spend all their time indoors,” Guerra said. “They’re not exposed to nature. One of my favorite sayings is people protect what they love. … But people aren’t going to love something unless they have a connection to it.”

The ‘Appearance’ of Due Process

The soon-to-be-built version of what President Donald Trump calls a “big beautiful wall” isn’t a wall in the way most people would think of it, and it’s not right on the Mexican border. In Texas, the border between the two countries lies along the middle of the Rio Grande, the only large source of fresh water in the region.

Instead, contractors will build the wall along the International Boundary and Water Commission levee built to hold back floods on the Rio Grande. A total of 15.4 miles of the levee in Hidalgo County is slated for wall construction, according to an October notice by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Plans for the levee wall include a concrete barrier built to the height of the levee, topped with 18-foot steel posts. Behind the wall would be a 150-foot “enforcement zone” with “detection technology, lighting, video surveillance, and an all-weather patrol road,” according to CBP.

In October and November, CBP awarded two contracts totaling $312 million to build a combined 14 miles of levee wall to Galveston-based SLSCo Ltd. CBP also has issued a notice for another 3 miles of levee wall to be built in the area.

Congress funded these recent contracts as part of $1.57 billion approved in the 2018 fiscal year for border barriers. This earlier funding is separate from the $5.7 billion in additional wall funding sought this year by Trump, which led to the longest shutdown in government history.

At least since 2018, federal attorneys have been seeking yearlong access to land in Hidalgo County to survey for the wall, court records indicate. That includes land surrounding the 154-year-old La Lomita chapel, an important site for Catholic missionaries in the late 1800s.

The Diocese of Brownsville, which owns the chapel grounds, has refused to sign right of entry agreements giving surveyors access to the land, court records indicate. On Wednesday, a federal judge granted surveyors access.

The butterfly center has been fighting the government in court since 2017. Early last week, the center’s director, Marianna Trevino Wright, spoke to land appraisers working for CBP.

“Mostly we just answered their questions” related to the value of the land, Trevino Wright said in a Tuesday phone interview. Asked whether center staff expects to get due process in the government’s plans to seize land for the wall, she said, “That certainly is the appearance they want to promote.”

Of the entire 1,991-mile border with Mexico, a third, or 654 miles, has some form of fencing, according to a fact sheet by the office of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo). The 273 miles in the Rio Grande Valley sector includes 55 miles of primary fencing.

CBP officials say the new levee wall will be a “persistent impediment to transnational criminal organizations” in the Rio Grande Valley sector. In the last full fiscal year, officials claim that Border Patrol apprehended more than 137,000 “illegal aliens” and seized roughly 260,000 pounds of marijuana and 1,192 pounds of cocaine in the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

A YouTube video produced by the Border Patrol claims to trace a shift in illegal entry and arrests – from San Diego to El Paso, then to Tuscon, Arizona – with the deployment of barriers, manpower, and technology sector-by-sector.

After the wall is finished, CBP officials have said, property owners north of the wall would be able to access property on the south side via gates.

‘We’ll Grow Up to Be Jerks’

On a visit to the area last week, most of the daytime traffic along the levee road consisted of Border Patrol and tourists riding bicycles, walking, or driving, some carrying large lenses for wildlife photography.

“Here the invaders are!” joked Lorri Burnett, an organizer with Defenders of Wildlife on a tour of the butterfly center and nearby roads. She was pointing at a tourist with a camera, who had been asking about the wall at the center’s offices.

“We’re being invaded by old, white birders,” Burnett continued.

Defenders of Wildlife organizer Lorri Burnett points out a gate she says has been recently closed on the levee road near the National Butterfly Center.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

Defenders of Wildlife organizer Lorri Burnett points out a gate she says has been recently closed on the levee road near the National Butterfly Center.

As part of her organizing, Burnett has been collecting letters from children who visit the center to give to legislators in Washington. In one letter, a 10-year-old girl wondered what would happen to a tortoise named Spike who lives on the center’s grounds.

“He teaches children to respect the environment,” she wrote. “Without him, children won’t learn to love the environment, and we’ll grow up to be jerks. Please do the right thing. I love my home – the Rio Grande Valley.”

For the butterfly center’s staff, volunteers organizing against the wall, and many who support the network of wildlife refuges along the Rio Grande, the wall is a looming ecological disaster.

The lower Rio Grande Valley is one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Some species, such as the endangered ocelot, occur nowhere else in the U.S.

But since the 1930s, 95 percent of the wildlife habitat in the area has been lost to farming, ranching, and commercial development, according to the Service. To help preserve what remains, national, state, and private preserves have been set aside to protect land meant to provide a corridor for animals to move along the river.

That includes the butterfly center, a former onion field purchased by the North American Butterfly Association that opened in 2002.

There, the wall would cut off the movement of threatened land animals like the Texas tortoise, Texas horned lizard, and Texas indigo snake, which cannot escape from rising floodwaters, Guerra said. Many low-flying species of birds and butterflies risk being trapped on the north side, away from fresh water or potential mates, he said.

That’s not to mention wildlife affected by the wall construction and the plant removal CBP officials say they will conduct along the wall.

“For some wildlife, they’re going to have a quick death, the ones that are run over by the machinery, whose homes and shelter are destroyed,” Guerra said. “For other wildlife, it’s going to be a slow death, like the ones who don’t have access to the river and won’t have water, especially during the hot summer days we have here.”

A white peacock butterfly lands on a flower at the National Butterfly Center

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

A white peacock butterfly lands on a flower at the National Butterfly Center.

In October, Nielsen announced she was waiving 29 different environmental and other laws for the construction of the wall in Hidalgo County, citing a threat to national security. The laws include the Endangered Species Act and other laws meant to protect archeological sites and Native American graves.

“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries,” the Federal Register post states.

The Desecration of History

About 13 miles southeast of the butterfly center lies a cemetery and chapel just south of the levee. It’s where Sylvia Ramirez and her brother Ramiro both have their headstones already placed near the grave of their father, who died in 1981.

Ramirez, a retired educational psychology professor who lives about 30 minutes away, is among the descendants of Nathaniel Jackson. Jackson, a white landowner, and his wife, Matilda Hicks, an African-American woman born into slavery, moved to the area in the 1850s, seeking a place where their mixed-race family would be safe.

North of the Rio Grande, they founded the Jackson Ranch, a site that would later be used as a waypoint on the Underground Railroad for former slaves seeking freedom in Mexico.

Ramirez said she grew up visiting the site frequently and remembers having Easter Sunday picnics there with family. Her relatives had a “strong family connection, not only to each other but to the cemetery and to this land,” she said in a recent phone interview.

“They instilled that in us,” she continued. “My father had as strong of feelings as anyone that I had ever known … that’s passed on to me. So that love and family connection to each other, and it gets connected then to the cemetery.”

The Jackson cemetery where activists have set up a camp to organize against the border wall.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

The Jackson cemetery, where activists have set up a camp to organize against the border wall

In August, Ramirez spoke to a CBP official who she said told her there was nothing she or her relatives could to do stop the wall. Ramirez said that’s the last that she, her relatives, or their attorney have heard from CBP.

“The only impact we could provide was about entry, about the gate, what would be convenient for us,” Ramirez said. “It was such a limited input that we could provide, it just felt like it was a dead-end road.”

In the following months, Ramirez said she and her brother were contacted by Juan Mancias, chair of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, an indigenous group that has not been recognized by the federal government but whose language has been documented by historians and linguists.

In January, tribe members and volunteers, some veterans of the indigenous-led 2016-17 movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota, arrived at the cemetery. They’ve been clearing out the brush that choked many of the old graves and last week organized a march to the butterfly center.

“If walls were natural, they would have grown by themselves, but they don’t,” said Christopher Basaldú, a Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe member camping at the cemetery. “There is no border crisis. It’s a manufactured crisis through propaganda.”

Basaldú, a former professor at the University of Oklahoma who grew up in Brownsville and Corpus Christi, called the wall “a colonial idea, an imperialist idea.”

“It doesn’t reflect how the indigenous people lived and walked on this earth prior to colonization,” he said. “The wall is simply a symbol of hatred, and people who are powerful enough to ruin other people’s lives want the wall for their own egos or their own misperceptions of this land.”

25 thoughts on “In Rio Grande Valley, Anxiety Surrounds Imminent Border Wall Construction

  1. For those that applaud the false sense of providing protection against “others” the “Wall” proposes, and those that care nothing for the effect it will have on the environment, historic cultures, and what our future is loosing . . . something you can relate to – “money” is of importance when talking about this wall. The economic impact to the RGV from nature tourism (not just visitors to parks – but the resulting visits to restaurants, lodging, shopping and the jobs) in one year is: (according to a “state” agency the TPWD): “Economic contribution from RGV nature tourism led to a total economic output of $463 million and 6,613 full- and part-time jobs annually. “

    • A wall is a way to communicate national and federal boundaries between the country of the United States of America where people pay taxes on sales tax, property, state (most states not Texas), and federal levels and Mexico where citizens don’t pay that level of taxes on everything. A wall is a peaceful (no arrows, bullets, yelling, shouting, or translating) proven (repeatedly for thousands of year if you explore National and world history) method to communicate boundaries without a translator needed.

      You pasted this: “Economic contribution from RGV nature tourism led to a total economic output of $463 million and 6,613 full- and part-time jobs annually. “ Tourism would GO UP with a wall. There are many Americans and foreigners who don’t want to visit or live in an area that doesn’t make a clear differentiation between the land of two very different countries with very different cultures, very different languages, and very different laws. More middle and high income wage earners and more educated people, including doctors, researchers, etc. would be willing to live closer to the border if the USA would do a better job at securing it.

  2. The wall is extremely unnecessary. President Trump is fear-mongering.

    Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a wonderful place for bird-watching. Many RVers choose to stay in the area at multiple high-end RV parks during the winter season. Lots of those people are birders, walkers, bike riders, and golfers. This travesty of a well is going to completely change the experience for Americans who love going to “The Valley.”

    I agree with Christopher Basaldu as he is quoted in the last three paragraphs of your article.

    • “extremely unnecessary”? No, it’s extremely stupid, and illustrates Trumpasaurus’ complete lack of understanding of the culture and landscape of the Border.
      He’s fear-mongering (what else is new) and simply playing to his base of supporters in the mid-west who can’t spell border and couldn’t find it on a map. And no, El Paso was NEVER the most dangerous city in the US.

  3. The dumbest damn thing ever. What on earth ever possessed you people to elect this silly clown of a president? The world watches in absolute awe as nonsense leads to idiocy leads to nonsense squared. Can’t you folks make it stop somehow?

  4. Whatever BUILD THAT WALL! ..don’t like it..move out the way. nothing you can do BUT COMPLAIN AND LOSE ROCK BOTTOM HATERS, or TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS POLICIES AND IMPROVE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AT THE SUMMIT.
    52% approval and rising! 6 more years of WINNING!

  5. I have Illegal Aliens in my local stores. Using children for a reason for no wall is really sad. The information I have seen about the sector says there are many illegal aliens using the un walled section of the rio grande to enter illegally and to bring drugs across. The article says they will have a gate for schools to access the area. So this takes the children argument out. This river is the immediate border and anyone who trusts their children in that area should have their heads examined. Border towns are the front lines of protecting America from the scourge of illegal aliens. I lock my doors and if you love Mexico so much move there. Don’t subject me to hearing Spanish, I fought to protect our country, now I have to fight to protect our nations borders. Read the Border Patrol apprehensions in your area. Then tell me how great it is.

  6. There are more illegal aliens in this country from Europe, Africa and Asia due to visa overstays than are coming from central America. Let’s put heads together and be smart about border security. Trumpublicans so often seem incapable of looking at facts and are more interested in hyperbole and exaggerations of falsehoods promoted by a government that doesn’t listen to its own facts.

    • Illegal aliens from Latin America commit more crimes against Texans than illegal aliens from Europe. That is a fact that can be verified through prison, jail, arrest and conviction rates for several decades.

  7. Some facts:

    Areas in Texas before 1834 technically belonged to various Native North American tribes.

    Mexico, conquered by Spain, refused to recognize any Native North American lands as belonging to them. Mexico considered lands that they had merely sent explorers through or traveled through for trade their own regardless of dozens of different Native American tribes living there for hundreds or thousands of years before self governing.

    1830 Texas was about 25,000 Texans and 4,000 mostly Native North Americans, the largest tribe was likely the Comanche who didn’t consider themselves ruled by Mexico. Their land was called the Comancheria and it was sizable.

    Why so few Mexicans? Because the Comanche guarded their territory and for many years kept others out. The Comanche would travel South by horseback to Mexico to commit raids that the Mexicans could not stop. (at that time they needed the wall but wouldn’t protect their people with a wall because Mexico wanted the Comanche land and Mexico had hoped the Texans would drive the Comanche out)

    1835 Americans defeat the Mexican army and declare Texas independent.

    Texans seek annexation by the US and fight with the Comanche over the land.

    1845 United States annexed Texas

    February 2, 2845 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago Mexico ceded to the US parts of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. Mexico didn’t own all this territory technically because there were dozens of Native North American tribes who self governed in many of these areas. Mexico was paid $15 million by the United States for land to the Rio Grande that Mexico didn’t totally own, it was Native North American land in many places. More time should be spent thinking about that, how Mexico sold Northern Native American land to the USA. That is a scheme of Pedro Urdemalas, trickery, selling land that you don’t own and enslaving/defeating your enemies at the same time (the Comanche raided Mexico).

    That is history that would be great for people to know about the Comache, Texas, Rio Grande, Mexico/Spain and the US.

  8. From the above:
    “In January, tribe members and volunteers, some veterans of the indigenous-led 2016-17 movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota, arrived at the cemetery. They’ve been clearing out the brush that choked many of the old graves and last week organized a march to the butterfly center.

    “If walls were natural, they would have grown by themselves, but they don’t,” said Christopher Basaldú, a Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe member camping at the cemetery. “There is no border crisis. It’s a manufactured crisis through propaganda.”

    My reply: You say “If walls were natural, they would have grown themselves, but they don’t.” Gravestones are not natural that is why the brush that choked them needing to be cleaned out. Gravestones are not natural. Houses, cars, electricity, toilets, American English, dollar bills, hair dye, cameras, computers, newspapers, and the Internet are not natural but many Native North Americans still utilize them today.

  9. From the above:
    “Basaldú, a former professor at the University of Oklahoma who grew up in Brownsville and Corpus Christi, called the wall “a colonial idea, an imperialist idea.”

    “It doesn’t reflect how the indigenous people lived and walked on this earth prior to colonization,” he said. “The wall is simply a symbol of hatred, and people who are powerful enough to ruin other people’s lives want the wall for their own egos or their own misperceptions of this land.””

    My reply: You say “the wall “a colonial idea, an imperialist idea.”” yet that statement is shockingly ahistorical in another respect too, which is, if you look at the history of wall building on earth for the entire duration of human existence.

    I have to honestly say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from the United States, Europe and Colonialism/Imperialism were smart enough to construct walls to mark boundaries and protect their families, belongings, culture, history, property and land.

    This actually — it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree, that, in your mind — no, this is an amazing — this is an amazing moment. This is an amazing moment–

    That you think only people from the United States, Europe and Colonialism/Imperialism would be smart enough to build walls is so insulting to millions of families, peoples, tribes, businesses and countries who do and have built walls all over the world from all over the world.

    Have you honestly never seen a wall in another country built by a person, family, tribe, organization, business or government that was not European or a US citizen or an Imperialist or a Colonialist? Is that your personal experience? Because it shows your cosmopolitan bias as well as ethnocentric thinking and even a form of cultural appropriation.

    How so?
    Ethnocentric thinking is implying that only US citizens, Europeans, Imperialists or Colonialists built walls.
    History suggests “It is thought the very first wall not built around a city was erected by the Sumerian King Shulgi of Ur c. 2038. Shulgi’s wall was 155 miles (250 kilometres) long and was built between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to keep the invading Amorites out of Sumerian lands” as one of many examples.
    There is the Great Wall of China built by the Chinese to show their Northern boundary with Mongolia to help protect people and land against the Mongols and invaders.
    There were walls built by Vikings in North America prior to 1492.
    There were walls built by Native North Americans (Indigenous) on the East Coast of North America prior to Colonization.

    Why is it cultural appropriation? Well since Sumerians (a minority in the USA), Native North Americans (a minority and original in the USA), Vikings from Greenland, Canada and Scandinavia (a minority and original in the USA because they lived, fished and sailed in the Northeast US before 1492), Chinese (a minority in the US but at the same time very likely genetically related to Native North Americans who came down the West Coast before 1000), and Nehemiah’s family are all technically minorities and all built walls before Colonization.

    I’m not going to list all the people, cultures and counties who built walls before 1492 but there were a lot from different races, cultures, and countries. Wall building is not solely an American custom or culture, that is the ethnocentric thinking and the cultural appropriation. Villages with walls or a nomadic life of shepherding or chasing buffalo is an aspect, a very important aspect, of culture. Americans and Europeans were not the first wall builders. Colonialists and Imperialists were not the first wall builders either.

  10. From above:
    “”Basaldú, a former professor at the University of Oklahoma who grew up in Brownsville and Corpus Christi, called the wall “a colonial idea, an imperialist idea.”

    “It doesn’t reflect how the indigenous people lived and walked on this earth prior to colonization,” he said. “The wall is simply a symbol of hatred, and people who are powerful enough to ruin other people’s lives want the wall for their own egos or their own misperceptions of this land.””

    My reply: I want to address how the Native North Americans – the indigenous people – actually lived and walked on this earth prior to colonization. Some Native North American tribes farmed like the Anasazi (Old Ones). They sometimes had run ins with the nomadic raiders from the North called the Apaches (which means Enemies). There were also peaceful Pueblo peoples who were enslaved by the Spanish invaders and some of which committed suicide rather than be raped or enslaved. In Texas the Apaches and then Comanches lived and walked which sounds very poetic.

    Both the Apaches and Comanches were raiders, they invaded other tribes before colonization and Mexico after colonization where they snuck up on villages and tribes, attacked and killed the men in front of the women and children, threw babies on the ground (stomped and kicked them and if they didn’t die they pulled them through cactus tied to a horse), and they made the captive women and girls as young as 6 to 8 years old undress to be raped. If you didn’t accept the rape they tied you to a horse and you ran with it until you submitted. All Native North American tribes were different but before the 1900s there was rape, kidnapping, slave taking, and violence and before the 1500s there was rape, kidnapping, slave taking, and violence all over North American, Mexico and Central America, and South America. The Comanches and the Comancheria almost served as a boundary preventing Mexico/Spaniards from coming too far North into the US and taking by possession lands to farm or create cities.

    Here is an excerpt on how “the Indigenous lived and walked on this earth”
    “THE LITTLE GIRL’S ODYSSEY BEGAN on 14,000 acres of choice land near the headwaters of the Navasota River, where her family, immigrants to Mexican Texas in the 1830’s, built a stockade that came to be known as Fort Parker. Her family helped found the Texas Rangers, who rode as sentries along the Indian frontier, and during the revolt against Mexico, they fled Santa Anna’s army in the rain-soaked ordeal of refugees called the Runaway Scrape. But when that war was won, they returned home in 1836, disbanded the Ranger company, and began to rebuild their life on the frontier. Peace settled over their village, and one morning the Parker men went to work their fields, leaving the heavy gates to their fort open.

    The Comanche riders who arrived that morning in May were joined by Kiowas and some local Caddos. Their faces were painted red and black, and they wore helmets of buffalo horns—they were a terrifying mob. Cynthia Ann’s father was one of the first men killed. Relatives were raped and scalped before her eyes. She and her six-year-old brother, John, were among a group of fleeing women and children cut off in a meadow and herded like calves. The Parker children’s captor was Puhtocnocony, He Who Travels Alone and Returns. Texans later rendered his name Nocona or Peta Nocona. He brandished a tomahawk and threatened to kill Lucy Parker if she didn’t hand over Cynthia Ann and John.”

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-warriors-bride/

    Quite frankly it was the Comanches and other roaming warrior tribes superior equestrian skills, invading technique, and astuteness regarding the weakness in other tribes and peoples (Mexican/Spaniards), Texans and new Americans to understand the enemy that allowed them to hold out for so long protecting the Comancheria. Most of the time the Comanche were skilled at detecting trickery but they were also brutal prior to the 1900s which helped them to survive and maintain their lands from invaders who devised various methods and tactics to do what?…take their lands and homes from them which ultimately happened.

    Walls communicate boundaries and ownership regardless of the native language. Walls are a peaceful nonviolent way to communicate where one country ends (Mexico) and the United States of America begins. Walls are a universally spoken and understood way to communicate boundaries to people. People who respect boundaries respect walls, invaders and criminals do not respect walls. Drones are like UFOs, ineffective at protecting boundaries unless they can shoot arrows or bullets.

    • Robert, You are correct, many Pueblo Natives were hardly peaceful back then. I find them to be quiet diverse, even those who live near each other today.

      The Natives who had to relocate West from the East built fences and walls to protect their most recent lands but some of them had built walls in the East USA lands before 1492 and before 1776.

      Colonization EVENTUALLY CEASED the practices of scalping people in USA governed territory. Colonization has greatly reduced the BEHEADINGS and IMPALINGS ON FENCES in USA territory except for near the border. Colonization has not stopped the beheadings, rapes and murders by the cartel in Mexico though which is a valid justification for a secure border with vetting. There have been 39 homicide convictions-people that were caught and convicted-in Texas in 2018 which should be just as important as school shootings and global warming to politicians. How many US citizens died because of global warming in 2018? Drugs flow over the border because what is seized at the ports is not sold to the general public that is simply what is caught.

  11. “Her family helped found the Texas Rangers.” The early Rangers were established by Moses Austin in the 1820s, and officially established shortly after independence. The greatest Ranger of all time was John C. Hays, Captain of Rangers here in SA. In 1844, he and 15 Rangers whipped 60-80 Comanches near Sisterdale. It was the first use of the Colt revolver in organized warfare and changed the balance of power on the Frontier.

    Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured in 1860 at the Battle of Pease River. Captain Sul Ross commanding 22 Rangers promised his gun to the first man who should kill and scalp an Indian. You can see the gun here, http://www.discovercolt.com/texascolts.html.

  12. Basaldú has taught on Indigenous at local colleges; however, he is clearly unfamiliar and unacquainted with a lot of true Native North American, Native Central American and Native South American true, factual, documented, verified and proven history as well as genealogy. There were a lot of Native American tribes and customs back then and there still is–alive–today. I know Pueblo tribes, I won’t call out specifics, alive today who are peaceful and respectful to their women and ones that other tribes would not consider peaceful and respectful.

    ALL Native Americans in the US should consider working together to FIGHT the ERA which intends to enslave our daughters and granddaughters and has the potential to subject then to a military draft in wars they didn’t start or support. NO ERA for the Native American!

  13. Does the US government continue to allow at least 450 Americans to be murdered each and every year, verified by Snopes.com (at least 25,064 undocumented immigrants were arrested for homicides between August 1955 and April 2010), by illegal immigrants since 1955 to spare a Butterfly Center and a Chapel that serves about 50 people a week? The Chapel could be relocated, it has already been completely relocated and rebuilt before after a Rio Grande flood and after a bad storm. Does the Butterfly Center and La Lomita Chapel leaders not care about the Americans killed each year?

  14. Why lie about the real age of the relocated and rebuilt La Lomita Chapel? Do they teach “thou shall not bear false witness (lie)” there?

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