MISSION, Texas – A family blocked inside their own home says the property owner is taking advantage of their situation.
Jose Reyes, “I hope the authorities support us. All these types of people being abused. The hard-working, humble people like us. That they support me and my family.”
Since 2015 Jose Reyes has been making monthly payments on an adjacent property that includes rental properties. On Wednesday morning, as his nephew and his sisters were walking to catch their school bus, there was a barbed wire fence blocking their way.
Elian Macia, nephew, “We wanted to cross. I opened the fence so the girls could cross. He [the owner] came to us and told us we could not cross.”
Reyes says the barbed wire fence was put up by the seller of the property, Armando Acevedo, who is in the process of selling the land to the family. “The first payment was a deposit and month after month I paid the man correctly. The taxes we are paying them, my wife and my sons.”
Back in 2015 Reyes and his family drafted a contract with a notary public, along with Acevedo paying him a $20,000 deposit, agreeing to pay $1,697 for the next 30 years.
Reyes says Acevedo is taking the property back, because the county was after him for property taxes which Reyes says is false because he and his family have been paying the property taxes.
Reyes and his wife are undocumented immigrants. They say Acevedo has tried to intimidate them through letters, messages, and even speaking about immigration.
He’s an American Citizen and he’s abusing the authorities. Abusing people like us.” says Reyes.
Reyes’ niece, a graduating senior, dressed up that morning in a formal gown to attend a graduation event but was also blocked in by the fence.
Nahomy Reyes, niece, “My aunt and uncle have work very hard for this property and feel bad for them.”
Reyes hired attorney, Jesus Villalobos, who says unfortunately things like this do happen. “It happens all too often where the most humblest of people, the most vulnerable are being taken by people such as that.“
But Villalobos says he and his client are not going to sit idle.
“I’m going to get a restraining order on file and I’m going to sue this man for what he is trying to do to these people.“
Stuck in the middle of this legal action will be Elian and his sisters. He says they are just trying to get to school. “I don’t want to fall behind. I want to study and have a good future.” Says Elian.
Jose Reyes says he is hoping for a little support from authorities.