Saturday, April 27, 2013

Immigration and Security: Further Encroachment of Border Wall on Indigenous Lands


Press Release – For Immediate Release

April 30:
US Government will bring Indigenous Woman in Texas back to court;
Government seeks to immediately seize more property for US-Mexico Border Wall

Immigration and Security: Further Encroachment of Border Wall on Indigenous Lands

Brownsville, Texas – April 26, 2013Defendant Eloisa Garcia Tamez is going back to federal court April 30, 2013 against the United States government. In an attempt to win immediate possession of Eloisa Garcia Tamez’s sub-surface property beneath the levee and the border wall which bisects her ancestral property, the U.S. government will have to convince Federal District Judge Andrew S. Hanen that it has the right to dispossess her and to justify that the subsurface is required for national security.

Tamez’s legal team had already been in dialogue with the U.S. Department of Justice attorneys in recent months to establish a timeline for a jury trial on Tamez’s current case. Simultaneous to the request for immediate possession, the government is proposing a jury trial schedule which extends through May of 2014.

A declaration from the defendant’s attorney Peter Schey submitted to the court April 15 states:

“The agreed upon Proposed Scheduling Order sets deadlines and trial in this cause well into the future and it is unclear why, and plaintiff has failed to explain why, it requires an immediate Order of possession on the small strip of additional land involved in its present motion.”

While the U.S. forcibly took Indigenous and other vulnerable peoples' lands for the first round of border wall construction in 2009, it did not have the authority to dispossess Eloisa Garcia Tamez of her subsurface property rights, and the state aggression continues against an Indigenous property owner with deep ancestral ties to that land and what lies beneath.
A statement issued by Daniel Romero, General Council Chairman for the The Lipan Apache Band of Texas (Ndé) states:

 “We ask that the Obama Administration and Congress to incorporate [the United Nations] the CERD’s demands for proper consultation and consideration of the Indigenous peoples and communities of the borderlands region. We request that the U.S. Government be inclusive of Ndés’ [‘Lipan Apache peoples’ ] request in current immigration reform and our proposal of the border lands policies that have negatively influenced the Ndé way of life.”


Lipan Apache Band of Texas

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