A Presidential campaign promise soon becoming a reality in south Texas. Currently hundreds of miles of fencing sit along the U.S.- Mexico border that may soon become a border wall.
$167 million is awarded for border wall construction that could begin as early as February 2019.
La Lomita Chapel is located along the border in Mission, Texas and it may soon be closed due to the construction of a border wall. Father Roy Snipes, Pastor of La Lomita Chapel, says he never imagined the church would be in jeopardy.
“For 150 years people come here to pray in good times and in bad times. Especially, when our hearts were broken by the craziness of the world. Now the craziness of the world is invading the sanctuary.”
The pastor says he’s not directly involved in the negotiations. We reached out to the Diocese of Brownsville, which oversees the chapel. In a statement the bishop says, “Church property should not be used for the purposes of building a border wall.” He also says, “A border wall would be contrary to the church’s mission.”
“The church in the valley is going to sue to stop them… and we hope…. Who knows what will happen.” Says Fr. Snipes.
Father Roy says he doesn’t know exactly where the border wall will be placed. However, he is worried that its construction will affect the hundreds of visitors that come every year. In fact, the new motto for the church is slowly becoming they’re no wall between amigos (friends).
“I hope we don’t have to be interrogated every time we come here and pray. I have a spotlight in our face if we’re here after sunset. We’ll just have to see.”
Right now, there is heavy surveillance along the border. Watchtowers, border agents, and helicopters constantly in the area.
“We could spend all that money on drug rehab, that would make a much better impact. But they didn’t ask me if it would be alright or not.” Jokes Fr. Snipes.
For many a church is a sign of inclusion. Soon it may be sitting next to a much larger dividing barrier. Other sites along the border facing similar land distribution problems include Bentsen State Park and the National Butterfly Center.