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National Butterfly Center files emergency restraining order against government to stop construction of Trump's border wall

2019-02-12

A US Border Patrol is seen from Mexico while patrolling along the border line between the cities of El Paso, Texas, in the United States, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico on April 7, 2018. (HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP/Getty Images)

The National Butterfly Center filed an emergency restraining order Monday night to stop the federal government from constructing a 38-mile border wall through its land, a spokesperson confirmed to the Daily News.

The conservatory, located in Mission, Texas, is asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C. to block the building of Trump’s U.S.-Mexico wall, which they say could result in more than 30 million square feet of vegetation being cleared.

“Some of this will be private land, such as ours, but some of it will be public land, like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park,” the center said on its website. “These are YOUR lands.”

“For this reason, the National Butterfly Center is taking a stand. We are joining dozens of private property owners in taking legal action against the efforts of the federal government to deprive us of our property rights.”

The North American Butterfly Association, the center’s parent company, filed suit against the Trump administration in December 2017 over its plans to build a border wall through its property.

“We’ve never had a hearing or any action there,” a spokesperson for the center told the Daily News.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said the department “can’t comment on pending/prospective litigation.”

The border wall that’s been long been promised by President Trump was the key reason behind a month-long government shutdown that began in December.

“I will get it built,” Trump said at his State of the Union address last week.

Carlos Diaz, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Daily News the department has begun clearing vegetation on federal land but has not yet broken ground yet.

He expected construction to begin in mid-February.

The National Butterfly Center is a 100-acre nature preserve with an outdoor conservatory.