MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Construction continues along the U.S.-Mexico border near the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.
Dump trucks load up on dirt and mulch from cleared trees on the south side of the Rio Grande Valley levee around one and a half miles from the Rio Grande and the international border.
It is along the north and south side of the levee where someone placed two “no trespassing” signs that, at first glance, appear to be from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Looking closer at the signs, some irregularities are quickly noticed.
Customs and Border Protection confirmed to ValleyCentral that the signs were not placed there by them. They also said they don’t know who placed the signs there.
One of the most glaring mistakes is the misspelling of “unauthorized.” That is the correct spelling, but on the sign, a hyphen is inserted between “un” and “authorized.”
Further down the sign, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is incorrectly referred to as “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol”. According to the Customs and Border Protection website, Border Patrol “is the mobile, uniformed law enforcement arm of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)”.
The sign instructs people to direct their inquiries to two numbers supposedly affiliated with Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Office. When ValleyCentral called those numbers, one went to a personal cell phone and the other was a dead number.
The dead number is similar to the number for the Border Patrol Sector Headquarters in Edinburg, but public affairs officials there did not immediately return a request for comment.
Marianna Trevino-Wright is the executive director of the National Butterfly Center in Mission. She told ValleyCentral that employees of the center noticed the sign Monday evening when locking up a gate on the south side of the levee.
“We’re not sure what this is,” Trevino-Wright said, gesturing to the sign. “These signs were put up yesterday and they do not belong to the U.S. government, they have not placed them here.”
She doesn’t know who put the signs up, and there are other signs nearby that are official that say not to trespass in the area, so the point of these signs specifically is not immediately clear. “Somebody just decided to create something false and put it up here on the land,” Trevino-Wright said.
She might not know who exactly put the signs there, but Trevino-Wright said she had good ideas as to why they were put there.
“I think it was put here to keep the American public from observing the ridiculousness of this project,” she said, referencing the construction that the Biden administration claims are repairing levees in the area, but anti-wall advocates say the construction is actually just more border wall.
“President Biden is still building a border wall,” Trevino-Wright said. “His not another foot promise was a lie.”