RGV family wins land back from federal government

Texas

MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Rio Grande glimmered on Wednesday as nearby neighbors floated past on a motorboat, just feet away from Mexican soil.

“They’re not going to take our six and a half acres, so, thank God,” said Jose. A Cavazos, brother to the property owner, Eloisa Cavazos.

Nearly three years ago the Cavazos family started their dispute with the federal government over a 6.5-acre tract of land that would be used for the border wall.

It would have covered the entrance to their property where multiple tenants rent from them.

Reynaldo Anzaldua, a cousin to the Cavazos family, said the land is more than a piece of property, it is a part of their heritage.

“This land here means a lot to the family because this is land that our grandmother bought, she told us never sell this land, hang on to this land,” said Anzaldua.

On Thursday, the family learned the federal government made the shocking decision to revest the land back to the Cavazos family, officially canceling plans to build the border wall.

The family said it has been a long journey and while they are happy, they are not ready to put their guard down.

“But we have to be realistic too, what will happen if there’s another administration, another Republican administration—what are they going to do?” said Anzaldua.

The Texas Civil Rights Project provided the Cavazos with legal representation. Staff attorney, Ricky Garza, explained though this is a victory there is still a border wall being built now.

“[The federal government] claimed that the levees needed to be fixed but then you go and look and there’s nothing wrong with the dirt that has been there for more than a hundred years in some cases,” said Garza.

New fences similar to the structure of the Trump-era border wall mount dirt levees close to the Cavazos’ property.

“They say they’re repairing the levees, but they’re not repairing the levees they’re building walls,” said Anzaldua.

Cavazos said that nearly all the time, their part of the river is a peaceful place.

“What people? Nobody is crossing, maybe at night one or two, it is like you see right now,” said Cavazos. “Almost every day, peaceful.”

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