As more than 100,000 illegal aliens pour into the United States monthly, a Florida-based 501(c)(4) that is working to privately secure the border is facing challenges from a nature preserve and one rogue Catholic priest.
We Build The Wall, which collected donations from American citizens and has already built miles of border wall in Sunland Park, New Mexico has a new job site, this time in the Rio Grande Valley region near Mission, Texas.
But this new site, like the last, faces unique challenges, despite the fact that the group is building on private land.
Father Roy Snipes of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, a Catholic priest known for his anti-Trump, anti-border rhetoric, has teamed up with the National Butterfly Center, a nature preserve, to fight the construction project.
“This sure is a special place. This is a sacred place. This should be respected and honored,” Snipes reportedly said. “I’m not an immigration specialist but I know we have got to treat people the same way we want to be treated.”
Brian Kolfage, a U.S. Air Force veteran, triple amputee, and founder of We Build The Wall, made it clear that Snipes is certainly no immigration specialist. He blasted the priest for his naïveté on the dangers of the border region.
“It’s disheartening to see a local catholic priest openly advocate his political agenda of anti border barriers,” Kolfage told The Rundown News. “His open border policies are promoting human trafficking and abuse of women and children. Instead of driving around in expensive boats with media he should be helping to feed the record poor and homeless in his own community or helping to combat the rampant pedophilia in the church by priests. We have many lifetime Catholics on our board and our donor base who are disgusted with this priest’s behavior.”
The Rundown News reached out to Snipes for comment, but our request was not immediately returned.
Earlier this year, several Catholic dioceses in Texas were forced to come forward with 286 cases in which priests were credibly accused of sexual abuse. Meanwhile, Snipes is busy publicly opposing Trump’s border initiatives.
We Build The Wall accused the priest of entering murky legal waters. Federal law prevents 501(c)(3) organizations like the church, which has tax-exempt status, from making political statements regarding candidates.
“Between Donald Trump and the border wall stands Father Roy Snipes,” said a Dallas Morning News headline from May.
Along with the rogue priest, the National Butterfly Center is objecting to the construction of the wall. The leader of that group, Marianna Trevino-Wright, claims that building portions of wall in the Rio Grande Valley is a violation of The Treaty of Nov. 23, 1970 with Mexico, and claims it is “illegal building.” The treaty sets forth guidelines for “maintaining the integrity” of the Rio Grande.
Trevino-Wright is described as a “vocal wall opponent.”
Kolfage blasted the National Butterfly Center on his Twitter account, posting photos of illegal aliens being captured crossing the border “in the butterfly zone.”
Kolfage also said his organization “won’t be bullied by left wing thugs with a sham butterfly agenda.”
The Sierra Club has also spoken out against the new portion of wall that We Build The Wall is attempting to erect, and also claimed that it was a violation of aforementioned treaty. In the early 2000’s, The Sierra Club was engulfed in bitter in-fighting over the question of illegal immigration, which is a major cause of pollution in national parks and nature preserves in the American southwest.
At the time, pro-environment, anti-immigration members of the group split, and The Sierra Club has mostly ignored the issue ever since.
This article was updated on Dec. 11 to clarify Kolfage’s comments.
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