President Donald Trump is expected to sign a deal this week funding 55 miles of his border wall. The new barriers won’t meet his goal of sealing off the country’s southern border. But they will smash through an American butterfly sanctuary, whose leaders are suing the government.
Trump’s xenophobic presidential campaign cast the southern border as an imminent threat, with immigrants bringing crime and corrosion. But his proposed wall across the U.S.-Mexico border is violating constitutional rights and destroying a treasured wildlife institution, the North American Butterfly Association said in a petition for a temporary restraining order, filed on behalf of the National Butterfly Center on Monday. The center, which currently stands in Mission, Texas, will have its land cut through by the wall. And even before the wall’s construction, feds are allegedly trampling the center’s grounds, ripping out plants, harassing staff, and installing hidden surveillance cameras.
The National Butterfly Center is a 100-acre property in the Rio Grande Valley, “one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America,” Marianna Wright, the center’s executive director told The Daily Beast. A hotbed for birds and rare plants, the wildlife preserve hosts thousands of school children every year.