MISSION, Texas, Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. NABA is seeking this relief as heavy equipment sent to South Texas to build six new miles of border wall now advances toward the National Butterfly Center, a flagship project of NABA.
"For more than a year, people have been talking about butterflies versus border security, but this case is about so much more than that — it is about Constitutional protections, the right to due process, the illegal waiver of laws duly enacted by Congress, and the lawlessness of the federal government's actions," said Butterfly Center Executive Director Marianna Wright.
"On July 20, 2017 -- more than nine months before any Congressional appropriation was made to fund the construction of border walls in South Texas -- we discovered government contractors cutting down our trees, mowing down brush that provides critical habitat for butterflies and other wildlife, and widening a road on NABA's property," Ms. Wright said.
The contractors, who conducted these intrusive and destructive activities without NABA's permission or prior notice, stated that this work was in preparation for border wall construction. Former Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief for the Border Patrol, Manuel Padilla, confirmed this in a conversation with Ms. Wright on Aug. 1, 2017.
In response to these illegal activities, the organization filed suit in federal court on Dec. 11, 2017, in an attempt to safeguard our private property rights and to require the federal government to abide by other existing federal laws designed to protect the environment, endangered wildlife and historical artifacts.
"We are seeking an emergency restraining order to halt imminent demolition and construction work that would strand more than 70 percent of the Butterfly Center's 100-acre property behind the border wall," Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, President of NABA, said.
Border wall construction has already begun on the La Parida Banco National Wildlife Refuge tract in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Conservation Corridor. The El Morillo Banco National Wildlife Refuge tract immediately adjacent to the Butterfly Center has been staked out in preparation for construction.
"At the National Butterfly Center, we will stand against the lawless behavior of a government that is supposed to protect our rights as Americans, not trample on them. We encourage you to join us in our fight," Ms. Wright said.
Please visit us at www.nationalbutterflycenter.org and donate to support our legal defense and continued existence at https://www.gofundme.com/protect-the-national-butterfly-center. We also invite you to visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, and see for yourself what is at stake.
National Butterfly Center
Marianna Wright, 956-583-5400
Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, 973-285-0907
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SOURCE North American Butterfly Association