Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 8, 2018

Contacts:  Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433, ljordahl@biologicaldiversity.org
Jonathan Salinas, (956) 739-2705, jonathanlee.salinas@gmail.com

Sunday Border-wall Protest Planned Next to Border Patrol HQ in McAllen

Groups to Deliver 35,000 Public Comments Against Project

MCALLEN, Texas— Opponents of President Trump’s plan to build a border wall in the Rio Grande Valley will hold a town hall Sunday across the street from the local Border Patrol station. Groups submitted more than 35,000 comments this week to U.S. Customs and Border Protection opposing the border wall.

Sunday’s protest comes after the Trump administration waived 28 laws to speed border-wall construction through protected nature areas, communities, cultural sites and farmlands. Despite pleas from community members, Customs and Border Protection has refused to hold a public meeting to hear from the local community. The town hall is an opportunity for people to speak out against the wall.

“Trump’s officials have refused to meet with community members, so we’re bringing the people to them,” said Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. “A border wall here will be a disaster for people, wildlife and the spectacular Rio Grande Valley. People are furious, and this protest will demonstrate the massive public outcry against this despicable proposal. We’ll do everything we can to stop it.”

“The U.S. government has flouted the law by waiving protections for Native Americans, border communities and the environment,” said Jonathan Salinas, a community member and protest organizer. “We’ll gather in protest Sunday to rebuke the Border Patrol’s illegal actions and to stand together as communities united against the border wall.”

What: Town Hall Against the Wall Protest

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11

Where: Across the street from the McAllen Border Patrol Station, 3000 W. Military Hwy, McAllen, TX 78503

Who: Community groups, landowners in the path of wall construction, human-rights organizations, local educators and students

Background
Last month the Trump administration waived dozens of laws that protect clean air and water, public lands and endangered wildlife to speed border-wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley. The Center and other conservation groups have sued the administration challenging the waiver.

The proposed levee-style walls will block the natural migration of wildlife and cause dangerous flooding. Existing border walls have been implicated in the deaths of hundreds of Texas tortoises and other animals due to flooding, which is common in the Rio Grande Valley.

Dozens of rare wildlife, including the ocelot, jaguarundi and aplomado falcon, make their homes in this region of Texas, as do hundreds of species of migratory birds and butterflies. The area is also within historic jaguar habitat.

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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