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Butterflies, Bulldozers and Barbed Wire Rally Border Wall Opponents



As a political fight rages in Washington on President Trump's demand for $ 5.7 trillion in border funding, there have been spirited acts of resistance on the United States-Mexico border.

Protests have been lucky. Resolutions passed. And initiatives found to help the people are walled out to keep out.

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Bulldozers arrived earlier this week near the National Butterfly Center in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, signaling the Trump administration's intention to begin construction on a steel and concrete barrier that would swallow more than two-thirds of the 100 acre wildlife refuge and botanical garden. The nonprofit center, which abuts the Rio Grande, sits on the path of a six-mile stretch of wall that has already been funded.

Federal government officials said construction was scheduled to begin this month, despite an ongoing lawsuit filed by the center more than a year ago, said the center's director, Marianna Trevino Wright The center planned to file and restraining order to prevent workers from beginning construction on wall, which would rise to 36 feet in some areas.

Residents and officials immediately took to social media to dispute the notion that border cities are dangerous.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to hold a 2020 campaign rally on Feb. 11 in El Paso, where about 26 percent of registered voters cast ballots for him two years ago. El Paso is also the hometown of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic former congressman who has said he is jumping into the crowded field of candidates vying to challenge the president.

Few officials were enthusiastic about the president's coming visit, with one, State Representative César J. Blanco, issuing a statement that said the president's "fear-mongering and lies have hurt our border economy and community." . Blanco, a Navy veteran and Democrat whose House District 76 includes part of El Paso County, said the city "should not be rolling out the red carpet, so he can come lie in our backyard."

The city's Republican mayor, Dee Margo, also quickly defended El Paso, saying on Twitter late Tuesday night that the city's law enforcement officers kept the border community safe.

The City Council said it wanted the federal government to remove the wire , and has won the trump administration if that doesn't happen. The resolution came one day after Mr. Trump addressed the nation and implored Americans to support his case for a border wall.


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