Butterfly Fly Away

Butterfly Sanctuary Located at the Heart of the Border Wall Faces Challenges

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Butterfly Fly Away

Kerry Shea

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The National Butterfly Center, located just north of the US border in Mission, Texas is home to thousands of butterflies, varying in type. Their primary butterfly type being the monarch butterfly. The facility is located right along the Rio Grande River. People come from many locations to observe and appreciate the butterflies in their natural habitat. However, recently, they have encountered a series of angry messages critiquing them for their lack of respect towards the implementation of the border wall.

Marianna Trevino Wright, the owner of the center, claims the mail to be “…a lot of ignorant, hateful stuff.” People are upset by the vastness of the butterflies’ home and many see the spaciousness as unnecessary and preventative of domestic progress. Wright is very used to the immense amount of security stationed around her facilities. She explains that the summer after President Trump took office, government officials/workers were ordered to cut down large amounts of trees and vegetation that composed much of the butterflies’ home. She adds that they also began to widen the road leading towards the center and reports that she was baffled by the alternations being made to her property. The officials explained that they were ordered to clear the land from a certain marker to the edge of the Rio Grande.

Their intent was to install 18 feet of solid concrete topped by 18 feet of steel bollards right through Marianna’s property. It was later revealed that government workers were found to be using the same machine to clear land belonging to the National Wildlife Refuge. Marianna and her partners decided to sue in response to their findings, but lost and plan to appeal the verdict.

The Station for Border Patrol chose not to comment on the situation. Contrarily, in a letter they claim to now be arguing for 30 new miles of wall around the area, since the Rio Grande Valley is one of the main locations illegal immigrants are arrested at. However, the Station for Border Control neglected to include that number of illegal immigrants nationwide has drastically decreased since 2000. Marianna reports that she has only witnessed three illegal crossing in the last six years.

Marianna states that she and her coworkers are in favor of border security. However, she also says she finds her job to be very safe as is and sees little reason for the severity of the advancements in protection being made around her. She expresses her discontentment with the on-going changes to her refuge and refuses to accept them without putting up a fight.

The National Butterfly Center in Texas is unlike any other inhabitants of its kind. It is far larger. Their facilities range over 100 acres. In the fall, the butterfly population is so dense that it is sometimes required to cover your mouth when walking through their inhabitants to avoid accidentally inhaling the delicate creature.

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