Protesters Oppose Border Wall In Mission, Texas

Feb 9, 2019
Originally published on February 9, 2019 12:01 pm
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Negotiations continued in Congress this week to try to reach some compromise over President Trump's proposed border wall. They met, of course, in Washington, D.C., far from the border, but our own Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, is along the border in Mission, Texas. Lulu, thanks for joining us today.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: It's my pleasure.

SIMON: So what's public reaction to the negotiations like in Mission?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I want you to listen to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) No border wall. No border wall.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's a group of protesters outside of this district's representative - Henry Cuellar's office. And for them, the wall is not a metaphor. It's something that is real with real consequences. At the protests were two women who, in the past few months, have gotten letters from the government saying their property is in the path of the proposed wall and that the government is going to seize it if they get the funding in the bill Congress is negotiating right now. Here's Yvette Gaytan.

YVETTE GAYTAN: I'm a stay-at-home mom. My husband is a truck driver, so we're just paycheck to paycheck, just living day by day. We don't have $20,000 to go give down on a new property, a home.

SIMON: Lulu, obviously, there's that economic concern but also more, I gather, right?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Scott, this isn't just about money or homes. It's also about their very identity. This is teacher Nayda Alvaraze who also got a letter.

NAYDA ALVARAZE: The old paperwork I have, the family tree from there, goes back to 1770, if I'm not mistaken. So it's been on the family forever. I was thinking of leaving it to my grandkids - not my kids, my two grandkids I have.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, you basically - this property's been in your family from when this was Mexico.

ALVARAZE: Yes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And, Scott, that's important to Yvette Gaytan, too.

GAYTAN: My heritage is Mexican. I am an American citizen. I was born here. My mom was from Mexico. My dad - I have traced his family back from when this was Mexico here on this land. So we've been here since before a lot of people, even their families. And now they want to take it away from us.

SIMON: Now, Lulu, some border wall money was allocated last year, and I guess that process is farther along. Tell us about the story you're going to bring us tomorrow.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, that process is farther along. Here in Mission, the money to build part of the wall was approved by Congress last year. And in its path are some important landmarks here in Mission - La Lomita, a 19th-century chapel that this town is named after. It's central also to the identity of this town. And I'm going to bring you that story tomorrow.

SIMON: Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, we'll be listening. Thanks so much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE POLISH AMBASSADOR'S "WALKING MOONS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.