It has always been part of Trump’s presidential plan to build a wall along the southern U.S. border. During a recent rally in El Paso, Trump reiterated that claim.
“We’ve actually started a big, big portion of the wall today at a very important location, and it’s going up pretty quickly over the next nine months,” Trump shared.
It is true that Congress has allotted $600 million for 33 miles of barrier along the Rio Grande Valley. However there seems to be a small obstacle in the way.
That obstacle is the quaint, one-room chapel La Lomita. It’s owned and operated by the Diocese of Brownsville and now it’s this diocese that is trying to use a legal argument to block the barrier from being built.
Mary McCord, the lawyer representing the diocese, share that, “As we made pretty clear in our briefing filed on behalf of the diocese in court last week in McAllen, Texas, the diocese intends to assert its rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to fight any building of the wall there.”
McCord continued that, “In other words, that act prohibits government actions that substantially burden the exercise of religion without the government establishing a compelling governmental interest and no other means of satisfying that interest.”
This legislation is something that the Trump administration should be familiar with, as Vice President Pence signed a RFRA bill in 2015 as governor of Indiana.
Currently lawmakers are deliberating how to proceed, however McCord has stated that the diocese doesn’t plan to give up without a struggle. “If the government persists in its desire to take the property at La Lomita for the building of the wall, that will have to go through litigation,” she said.