It’s a fight until the end for two Starr County women who have sued the Trump Administration after they received letters that the border wall could be built on their land.
“It’s peaceful,” said Yvette Gaytan, talking about her community of La Rosita on the outskirts of Rio Grande City. “It’s not the danger zone they’ve made it out to be, it’s a different way of life.”
But her home, she said would be demolished if a border wall is built in Starr County.
“They’re still going to cross over, it’s just going to be easier for them to find help,” Gaytan said. “It’s still going to take the same amount to process them, they’re still going to get through, over it, under it, just like they do where it already exists.”
She’s not the only one concerned with losing her home, due to the wall.
“The heavy machinery itself would probably demolish my home. That is, if they don’t have to tear it down. Already to build the 25-foot maintenance road,” said Nayda Alvarez, a speech teacher who lives just feet away from Gaytan.
She painted ‘NO BORDER WALL’ in large white letters above her roof to let anyone who’s flying by know where she stands.
Alvarez has received three letters from Customs and Border Protection, the most recent was last month. In one, the Federal Government asked Alvarez to survey her land, she said no. Now, they’re preparing to sue her to gain access to her eight acres of land.
“It might not compare to people who have thousands of acres in their ranches, but to us, it’s everything,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez says she doesn’t think a wall will help in her backyard, particularly because she says that area is not heavily trafficked.
“I would if I actually saw the crisis, I would be the first one to say build the wall,” Alvarez said. “Because I live right here next to the supposed crisis. But I don’t see it, I’m not afraid because it doesn’t exist.”
According to Customs and Border Protection records, since the start of Fiscal Year 2019, Border Patrol agents have apprehended over 77,000 people in the Rio Grande Valley alone.
Agents say Rio Grande City is a hot spot for drugs.
“Rio Grande City continues to lead the nation with the most marijuana seizures in the whole country and Valley,” said Herman Rivera, U.S. Border Patrol Agent.
“I’ve never had immigrants come knocking on my house. I’ve never had anything stolen from my house like some people claim they do. We do not have that issue here.”
She says the issue is figuring out what’s next once construction starts.
“If it does get built, I have no idea what I’m going to do,” Alvarez said. “Right now, I’m going on a day-by-day basis.”
Alvarez and two other homeowners were the first to challenge President Trump’s National Emergency declared Friday.