MISSION, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – The North American Butterfly Association said it is looking for a temporary restraining order to stop what it says is “an illegal seizure of its property for border wall construction” and “intrusive and destructive activities.” In a statement released Tuesday they said government contractors were working on their land without their permission — or notice — and that border construction was advancing toward one of their projects.
The motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction was filed against the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
“NABA is seeking this relief as heavy equipment sent to South Texas to build six new miles of border wall now advances toward the National Butterfly Center, a flagship project of NABA,” officials with the organization said.
“For more than a year, people have been talking about butterflies versus border security, but this case is about so much more than that — it is about Constitutional protections, the right to due process, the illegal waiver of laws duly enacted by Congress, and the lawlessness of the federal government’s actions,” Butterfly Center Executive Director Marianna Wright said in the statement.
Officials at NABA claim that activity began before any Congressional appropriation was made to fund construction in the area.
“We discovered government contractors cutting down our trees, mowing down brush that provides critical habitat for butterflies and other wildlife, and widening a road on NABA’s property,” Ms. Wright said.
The NABA also said that the barrier would separate them from some of their land.
“We are seeking an emergency restraining order to halt imminent demolition and construction work that would strand more than 70 percent of the Butterfly Center’s 100-acre property behind the border wall,” Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, President of NABA, said in the statement.
CBS 11 has reached out to Homeland Security for reaction and will update this story as more information comes in.