MISSION, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The debate over Gov. Greg Abbott’s border wall plan has fired up a South Texas family who say they’ll fight to keep their property on the border with Mexico, wall-free.
The Cavazos Family Ranch sits on 65-plus acres on the banks of the Rio Grande River in Mission, Texas.
It’s been in the family for three generations and they make no secret how they feel about a border wall going up on their property.
“It will be a waste of money,” said Fred Cavazos. “I don’t think it will help us at all the way they are thinking.”
Fred and his cousin, Reynaldo Anzaldua Cavazos look after their land.
“We used to harvest the crops and help him irrigate and take care of animals and this sort of thing, so we’ve always worked here,” said Reynaldo.
The cousins don’t physically ranch it anymore, but instead rent out and maintain several homes on the property for a living.
The Cavazos’ said they’ve been offered $350,000 by the federal government for 6-and-a-half acres of their land to complete a previous wall project, something they are fighting.
But now, they fear Gov. Abbott’s new plan could take even more from them.
“There is no doubt he is going to be challenged. He’s going to be challenged if he comes over here…he is going to be challenged by us too, because we are not going to sit here and let him take any more of our land.”
The Cavazoses say protecting all of their land from eminent domain is not just a matter of opinion or a preference, they say it’s also tied into a promise that they made to their grandmother.
“Our grandmother told us when we were kids, ‘I’m going to teach you how to work’, and this is where we worked and never sell the land, because the land will always feed you.”
They said they made a vow to their grandmother, Eloisa Rosa Cavazos before she died and has long as they’re still around, the cousins say it’s a commitment they’re going to fight to keep.
But aside from the land they’re already slated to lose, National Guard troops have been posted on their land around the clock. A watch tower has been placed there, too and U.S. Customs helicopters fly overhead often.
“How would you like it for the government to come to your house and say we’re going to put a gate right in your house. You can’t come in until you tell us to come open up,” said Fred.
“I know that the wall is political. You can not take private land for political reason. It’s got to be for the good of the nation. This is not for the good of the nation. This is for political reason,” said Reynaldo.
Law enforcement says they need the wall because of the massive wave of migrants arriving illegally is more than they can stop on their own.