The National Butterfly Center has filed for a restraining order to keep federal agents and contractors — who plan to build a border wall through the popular nature preserve — off its property.
The butterfly center, located in the town “Mission in the Rio Grande Valley” in Texas, has tried for more than a year to stop the border barrier, approved by Congress last March. But the current debate over Trump´s demands for the border wall funding has focused national attention on the butterfly preserve’s unfortunate situation.
Executive Director Marianna Treviño-Wright explained that the center’s attorneys filed for a restraining order Monday evening in U.S. District Court in Washington because construction equipment and contractors have driven across the center’s property even though the federal government has yet to acquire the land.
The filing seeks to prevent any federal employees or federal contractors from “taking any action” on the center’s property “for construction of a border wall, enforcement zone, road or any related installations, or otherwise interfering with the [butterfly center’s] use and enjoyment of its property” pending the outcome of lawsuits filed by the butterfly center and other groups allied against the wall’s construction.
A federal judge on Tuesday had not yet scheduled a hearing on the center’s request.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said publicly it intends to start building the wall through the butterfly center this month. The agency’s spokesman Carlos Diaz declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
The attention on the butterfly sanctuary and the current border debate has helped the center raise over $80,000 for its legal defense from more than 1,800 donors through GoFundMe.(click here to help The National Butterfly Center)
The Yucatan Times