SAN JUAN, Texas – The proposed border wall is threatening a Valley cemetery. It is the final resting place for some veterans. The fight from the Rio Grande Valley now making its way to Washington, D.C. Several groups are protesting the possibility that the structure would be built on a tribal cemetery.
The Eli Jackson-Brewster Cemetery is at the center of the controversy over the construction of the border wall. Not only here in the Valley, but throughout the country, after Local 23 and The Border Report aired the story earlier this year.
Some plans call for the construction over the graves which include veterans like Alberto Jackson who served in World War II, Native Americans and freed slaves. While Customs and Border Protection has said this cemetery will not be part of the construction, there is no legal basis to stop the wall from going up. That was the reason behind the protests in Washington. It’s to send a clear message that no holy site should be desecrated for the purpose of a border wall.
Tricia Cortez, Executive Director – Rio Grande International Study Center, “Congress cannot allow a wall to cut through our nature trails, our parks, our neighborhoods that we cherish.”
Raul Garcia, Legislative Director for Healthy Communities – Earthjustice, “For all those congressmen and senators out there that have preached that they stand by veterans, rhetoric is cheap, we expect you to act.”
Congressman Filemon Vela, “We shouldn’t be building any border wall whatsoever.”
This site has been under constant surveillance over the past few months while several groups keep watch including the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe. Government contractors and others have also been out here taking measurements for the proposed border wall.