Hundreds of Texans in the Rio Grande Valley, which sits along the United States-Mexican border, on Saturday protested President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. Residents in Hidalgo County want the Trump administration to know that they oppose one of the president's most controversial campaign promises.
“We might seem small and insignificant. Maybe we are,” 19-year-old native Anthoney Saenz, a 19-year-old native, told the Statesman. “But when our voices come together, when we band together as a community to try to get a voice out there, we have to hope we get heard.”
According to the “pre-decision map" released by the United States Customs and Border Patrol, the border wall could section off border towns from the Rio Grand River, which would put some homes and farmland on the Mexican side of the border.
The area's cherished chapel, La Lomita, would also be directly impacted. According to activists, the chapel would be left in "no mans land," tucked between the Rio Grande River and the wall.
Those who are against the wall also say the border wall would go through the middle of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, which has more than 400 species of birds and roughly half the butterfly species found in North America, the Statesman reported.
Saturday's protests attracted various groups, including the Sierra Club, the Socialist Party and numerous chapters of the Democratic Party. It is also said to be the first major protest against the proposed border wall, the Washington Post reported.
“Because people have seen the walls go up and see what they do, it’s not sort of an abstract, imagined concept,” Scott Nicol, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands campaign, and rally organizer, told the Statesman. “There’s a lot more opposition to it now than there was 10 years ago.”