There has been some land clearing along the Rio Grande in Mission, which has some people wondering what is going on.
Father Roy Snipes, a pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church brought CBS 4’s Jolanie Martinez to the site of land clearing along the Rio Grande in Mission on his boat.
Dozers and excavators operated not too far from Snipes’ church camp on Friday.
“I’m baffled,” said Snipes. “I have no idea this is just completely surprising.”
Snipes said he was out on the river Thursday and said a whole lot has changed in less than 24 hours.
“They have progressed a lot more,” said Snipes. “Bulldozing in less than 24 hours, a lot more.”
And that’s because Brian Kolfage, president of We Build the Wall, a group that funds the construction of barriers along the border said they partnered up with Fisher Industries and is funding the construction of a barrier on private property in Mission.
“The property owner down there was just fed up with everything that was going on, on his property, constantly having trash on his property and the threat of the cartels and the drugs and the crime, he was done with it,” said Kolfage in a phone interview with CBS 4. “And he’s not getting anything from the local community and so this was a way for him to be able to get protection on his property and on his land.”
Fisher Industries broke ground on Monday and have begun clearing the land as Kolfage said it will be the first of its kind and adds that it will be a fence not a wall allowing wildlife to flow through.
“The first barrier that will be able to be built on the river bank or close to the river bank instead of miles inland which is not really effective,” said Kolfage.
The fence will be 3.5 miles long.
“It hurts and it kind of bewilders us, me and many others, but not everybody,” said Snipes. “Obviously, there’s people who think it’s a wonderful idea, they think it’s a brilliant idea, not us.”
CBS 4 reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for comment who responded with a statement.
The United States Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector was notified of the intentions of a private entity to use its own funds to build a barrier on private land adjacent to the international boundary. But the entity did not consult Border Patrol on the design, location, or specifics of the construction.