Local members of a Native American tribal nation are protesting against a Galveston-based company awarded a $145 million contract to construct part of a border wall along the United States-Mexico border.

About 20 people gathered Saturday at the SLSCO Ltd. building, 6702 Broadway, to protest the company’s contract to construct about 6 miles of levee wall, event organizer Christopher Huron said.

Huron is a member of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribal Nation, which has ancestral lands in South Texas and northern Mexico, he said.

“We got multiple people who seemed to be honking in support of our message,” Huron said.

Awarded Oct. 31, the contract between the company and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection calls for removing vegetation and installing a concrete wall with 18-foot bollards along the border near McAllen in Hidalgo County, according to a border protection release.

The 6-mile section would be the first of President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall.

Sullivan Interests, a group of companies started by Galveston natives and brothers Todd, John and William Sullivan, owns SLSCO.

Construction is slated to begin in February and was funded through border protection’s 2018 fiscal year appropriation, according to the release.

Company Principal Billy Sullivan declined to comment Wednesday.

The group organized by Huron gathered Saturday to voice environmental and cultural heritage concerns about the border wall, Huron said.

“That is our traditional land,” Huron said. “That is the land we have occupied since before it was the U.S., since way before it was Texas.”

He worries wall construction will dig up ancestral burial or archeological sites as well as cause environmental damage, he said.

There are several specific sites the tribal nation is concerned about, Tribal Chairman Juan Mancias said.

“We do exist; we’re still here, we do speak our language,” Mancias said. “When you dig up my ancestors, you’re killing them again.”

More than 137,000 people illegally crossed the border through the 6-mile section were the wall is to be built during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to the border patrol.

The levee wall is meant to serve as an impediment to criminal organizations and allow locals access to their property, border patrol spokespeople said.

But in addition to concerns about the cultural integrity of the land, tribal members also worry about harm to local species and habitat, Huron said.

Local members of the Carrizo/Comecrudo nation plan future protests, Huron said.

“We want to fight this,” Huron said. “We don’t want this to happen. This is a disaster for all of the American people.”

On a statewide level, the tribal nation plans to continue protesting the wall through events such as walks, Mancias said.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.


(38) comments

Paul Hyatt

For the people who do not want the wall built I challenge you to start leaving your doors at your home unlocked and the doors to your cars or trucks.... If you can not leave the doors to your home unlocked then why in the world should the US leave its doors wide open? Build the wall NOW....

Bailey Jones

I imagine we'll see more of this, both for cultural and environmental reasons, and to protest the inevitable land grab through the use of imminent domain.

Dalton Logan

From what I have read, most of the land owners want the wall in some form. I really don't see them fighting against a fence/wall on their property. Most already have to fence their property at a big expense to them. Build that wall, long and tall.

Ray Taft

‘More than 137,000 people illegally crossed the border...’ That number and the vast number of Americans who pay for and contend with those illegals far outweighs the maybe 20 or so people who actually showed up to protest.

Build The Wall despite the delaying antics from Democrats and their media cronies who care more for foreign illegals than they care about Americans who are alive.

Jarvis Buckley

Very proud the government chose the Sullivan Bros. to build part of the wall. Quality family , quality company.
They will do a great job in helping protect our country. Sullivan Bros. all
Of Texas supports you. Do your usual great job. Build that wall!!!

Carlos Ponce

"Galveston-based company awarded a $145 million contract to construct part of a border wall along the United States-Mexico border."
Shhhhh. Don't tell the Liberals who read this paper. They still insist the wall will never be built.[ohmy]

Kelly Naschke

Where ya at Emile Pope and Diane Turski? Crickets

George Croix

Then, let the 'protesters' sponsor and pay for the 137,000 illegals entering that area just in the last year.
Problem solved.

Jarvis Buckley

I wonder who sponsored the protesters trip to Galveston.
I haven't read about the Sullivan Bros. being awarded the wall contract in GDN until today. How did
the 20 or so native Americans know about it before our local paper?

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Hi Jarvis, we've written twice about the Sullivan brothers being awarded the contract.

Jarvis Buckley

That surprises me Laura, guess I just missed it, like I did the Byrd beach project. I try to read every article.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I don't think you're the only one that missed the articles. Here are the links:

TR Galan

No one expects open borders but President ardently sold the wall to his constituent’s on 'Mexico will pay for the wall'. Shhhh. Seems like the Administration has scammed especially their own supporters into footing the bill. Eventually, ‘My Trump, Right or Wrong’ supporters will want to stop asking 'How high?' when the President says 'Jump'.

Carlos Ponce

Through renegotiation of NAFTA into USMCA bot Mexico and Canada will be aiding in pouring billions back into the American economy. And the wall will prevent much of the illegal immigration which is costing the Unites States $135 billion a year.
Will the wall stop all illegal immigration? No. But it will pay for itself in what it does prevent. Who wants the wall? Border Patrol agents.

TR Galan

Expected Trump-manner response: Avoid the question then shift and re-direct the focus.

Carlos Ponce

It's the truth, TR Galan.
"I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!
6:38 AM - Dec 13, 2018 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

George Croix

I, personally, don't know any adults, even the most ardent supporters of then candidate and now President Trump, of which I am not one on the personal like level, who actually expected Mexico to write a check for a border wall.
'Paying for' something leaves a LOT of wiggle room, as long as the bill is covered in the end.....if it is.....
Everyone...all....I talked with expected foreign aid to be cut off, severely curtailed, trade affected more in our favor, and/or tourism to be restricted until they cried 'uncle' and enough funds were recovered to foot the bills.
Personally, I'm not very happy that hasn't happened...yet...
I'm not sure too many actually expected ANYONE with an IQ over 50 to buy into the 'walls don't work' silliness put out by the usual can only wonder how their houses are built.....
I'm NOT mad at Trump, though (about that), because he's sure as heck given it a try. I put the onus right on the Republicans in the House being afraid to pass the necessary legislation because they were a) 'never Trumpers' and/or b) too gutless to force the hands of the Senate Minority, needing about 10 or so of their votes, without which no bill could pass. Trump is fighting a battle in both directions, and there are enough citizens who never got the word in 7th grade social studies that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill, NOT who has the majority.
Still, it's a failure to date, imo.....not much way to spin it otherwise....
But, one also on sitting on the backs of the Left down the road.
Eventually, there just might be enough citizens wondering WHY we/they must fork over YEARLY enough money devoted to illegal aliens to BUILD the darn wall 30' high from Pacific to Gulf with a couple or three years worth. Then there would be SOME control.
Until then, I'll just do my usual head shake at the folks who think it's just grand that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of illegals enter this country yearly, and we get the bills for them.
I suppose we could do like California, issue them all driver's licenses, let them use those to manipulate the voter registration, sign absentee ballots, wink-wink-nod-nod and then just hand it all over to the folks who would be Greece or France, and then wait for the money to all run out...more than already.....
Oddly, not ONE of the 'wall' opponents would tolerate a stranger taking up residence in their home uninvited and they were then obligated to feed, cloth, educate, and care for that person.
There's a word for that.....................[whistling]

Jarvis Buckley

Carlos they can't handle the truth.
The renegotiation of NAFTA will reap benifits for many decades. It will pay for the wall many times over.

Jim Forsythe

Donald J. Trump
....close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border......
4:49 AM - 28 Dec 2018

Jim Forsythe

Donald J. Trump
We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!
4:16 AM - 28 Dec 2018

Carlos Ponce

Liberals insist that many illegals are visa overstays. Fine, let's accept that premise. So why isn't the Border Patrol and ICE going after them? Because they have to patrol hundreds of miles of border where either no wall or fence exists or what is there is not working.
Liberals also insist that if a wall is built then the illegals will simply get a ladder. If members of the US military's special forces cannot get over the proposed prototype do you really think these untrained individuals can?
Liberals insist that walls don't work. Israel is proof that they do. And so are the homes of many Liberal lawmakers.

Jim Forsythe

Visa overstays enter the USA legally as students, workers or visitors. Trying to say the reason we have Visa overstays is because of a lack of a wall is not true.
The majority of immigrants settling in the U.S. without authorization are first coming to the country legally.
Of those who arrived or joined the undocumented population in 2014, 66 percent were overstays. Since then the number has increased.
Ladder are just a joke that most do not get. A GoFundMe campaign to buy "ladders to get over Trump's wall" was created in response to a viral GoFundMe campaign that aims to raise $5 billion to pay for the border wall.
Though the "ladders" GoFundMe campaign started as a joke, supporters have pitched in more than $142,000 since its creation. The money will be given to a Texas-based nonprofit.
It's not that walls don't work, but better ways to reduce the numbers exist,at a lower cost.
The wall would only stop people trying to enter from a fixed area and not address the rest of the problem.
If Trumps tries to shut down the border completely as he said that he may do, we will see a financial crisis for anyone that relies on goods or people crossing the border. It would also effect the stock market.

Carlos Ponce

"Trying to say the reason we have Visa overstays is because of a lack of a wall is not true."
Who goes after the visa overstays, Jim? ICE. Who is too busy at the border because of the lack of a proper barrier Jim? ICE.
Try talking to a Border Patrol or ICE agent before you post. They want the Wall so it will free them to go after visa overstays.

Jim Forsythe

The reason we have as many overstays as we do is because we are not using the technology we have to decrease this problem. This would include E-verify.
If the President would ask for more funding for a virtual wall, he most likely would get the funding.
The Border Patrol has been doubling down on a “virtual wall” of drones, blimps and tower-mounted cameras, an approach that has produced results.
The bulk of the CBP’s current $447 million annual budget for fencing, infrastructure, and technology goes toward surveillance towers, unmanned aircrafts, retired military blimps, and other advanced technological equipment.
The DHS, which oversees the CBP, had taken ownership of more than 3,900 items of excess equipment from the U.S. Defense Department , according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection presentation . That included “Marcbots” - wheeled robots that detect tunnels - and advanced radar surveillance systems.

Carlos Ponce

The President asked for e-verify in his 2019 budget request. Check page 51 of PDF:
A "virtual wall" as you put it is just part of the equation. Those in charge of border security at the border insist that a wall is necessary, a wall works, a wall will pay for itself.

Carlos Ponce

"If Trumps tries to shut down the border completely as he said that he may do, we will see a financial crisis for anyone that relies on goods or people crossing the border. It would also effect the stock market."
Then convince your Democrat friends to COMPROMISE. Oh, I forgot, to Democrats, compromise means they get everything they want and Republicans get nothing. Trump has backed down from his call for $25 Billion to over $5 Billion. That's COMPROMISE! Then he'll accept a number over $2 Billion. That's COMPROMISE. But the Democrats are saying, "Nyaaa, nyaaa, nyaaa, nyaah, we'll give you NOTHING!" Compromise? Hardly.

Jim Forsythe

I have just as many friends and family members that are Republicans as Democrats. Some believe as you do,THE WALL. Some believe that the wall is last on the list and some say no wall.

If Trump has backed down from his call for $25 Billion to over $5 Billion
and will accept 2 Billion means he will never ask for more money, ever? If not, it just a smoke screen for the 25 Billion (which the wall will never come in at that level). The cost of acquiring land in Texas will be high and the large land owners will go to the maximum to protect their land.
The government is still in court over when Bush was in office.

If you expect someone to compromises to include something they do not believe in, that is not compromising. The only thing that has changed is the amount, not anything doing with the actual wall.
Working to a goal of a virtual wall would be compromising
Compromising means coming to a conclusion that both parties agree is the best outcome.
If the wall is the sticking point that Trump refuses to back off of, it will be a long Trump shutdown of the Government.
Being President means working with both parties .
The President asked for e-verify in his 2019 budget request. That was for the basic e-verify. It would require all employers to use E-Verify but not students. This is the place that more funds could be made available.
The budget also called for $570.9 million to hire 2,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, including $208 million for 300 additional worksite investigators, another place more funds could be allotted.

Carlos Ponce

"I have just as many friends and family members that are Republicans as Democrats."
What matters is what those in charge of protecting the border think and want. They want a wall because they know a wall works. Not by itself but as part of the overall strategy to curb illegal immigration.
Compromise, compromise, compromise. They say voters all want Democrats and Republicans to compromise. Is it all just rhetoric? Trump backed away from his initial desire for $25 Billion. Now he's down to $2.5 Billion. He's willing to compromise. Democrats on the other side of the aisle are saying NO to any money. That's not compromise. If there is no compromise, a lot of those newly elected Dems will be gone after their term is over. One and done.
And Trump will probably ask for more money for the wall later on. What's wrong with that? They can either give it to him or not. It's that simple.

George Croix

"The illegal immigrant fugitive who was wanted in the murder of a California police officer was taken into custody on Friday after being on the run for more than two days, according to an official, who made the case that the fatal encounter may have been preventable.
Christianson, whose department has been handling the case, told reporters at a news conference that Arriaga is from Mexico and was in the U.S. illegally after previously crossing the Arizona border.
The suspect had known gang affiliations, as well as two past DUI arrests, Christianson said.
As for whether Singh's death was preventable, Christianson noted that had law enforcement previously been able to report the suspect to Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of his criminal record, the loss of life might never have occurred."

Wall? We 'doan nid no stinkin' wall!.....

Besides, "walls don't work".....except everywhere they are used.....

Carlos Ponce

Gustavo Perez Arriaga crossed into Arizona from Mexico illegally a couple of years ago. He had several arrests prior to killing police Cpl. Ronil Singh. Cpl. Singh is survived by his brother, his wife and his 5 month old child. [sad]
Would a wall have prevented this "hijo de la ........." from entering the United States? Build the wall in his honor and of all the other Angel Families which number well into the thousands, over 48,000 since September 11, 2001 according to Snopes but over 63,000 according to other sources.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, you and I look at this in a different way
You think a wall would be the best and I think that it can be done faster, cheaper and leave less of our land behind it with a virtual wall .
If we use e-verify to it's maximum (which we are not) most of the problems we have with people that should not be here,would be a lot less.
If we had been using it,Gustavo Perez Arriaga most likely would not have been here.

Carlos Ponce

It doesn't matter what you and I think. We're in Galveston County far away from the border. What matters is what the border agents think will work. And they want a wall among other things.
Money was allocated for a "virtual wall" (SBInet) during the Obama administration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano canceled it.
"Work to cease on 'virtual fence' along U.S.-Mexico border" 2010
"Homeland Security Cancels ‘Virtual Fence’ After $1 Billion Is Spent" 2011
"Napolitano Cancels Virtual Border Fence Project, Proposes Alternative" 2011
"Homeland Security chief cancels costly virtual border fence" 2011
It is apparent her "alternative" did not work.

Carlos Ponce

"If we had been using it,Gustavo Perez Arriaga most likely would not have been here."
One would hope so. But as Mr. Scott says, " The more they overtake the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain."

Carlos Ponce

24 year old Cristhian Bahena Rivera was an illegal alien working at Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn, Iowa for four years. He was verified through E-verify using fraudulent documents. The Des Moines Register reported the farm "knew Rivera by another name". He murdered 20 year old Mollie Tibbetts who was jogging.
E-verify is not foolproof.
Just like the hoboes of yesteryear used "hoboglyphs" to communicate where to camp, get free food, areas to avoid, the illegal alien has their own way of communicating which employers don't ask questions and where to obtain "papeles".

Jim Forsythe

E-verify using fraudulent documents is the reason that you can not use basic e-verify

Carlos Ponce

There's only one E-Verify system, Jim, There's not a basic E-Verify, an intermediate E-Verify and an advanced E-Verify. There's just E-Verify. It's not foolproof.

Jim Forsythe

It doesn't matter what you and I think or even the border agents.
What matters are the people in the House, Senate and the President.
Since Trump has become President how many miles of new, not replacement wall has been built?
How many miles of wall do you think will be built in the next two years?
Just as some border agents are for a wall, some are not for it.
"For agents like Agosttini, the question of how high a wall is, is almost irrelevant." “Do you think a wall is gonna stop them from coming in?

"Donald Trump’s most consistent campaign promise — to build a wall on the United States’ southern border to keep immigrants out — will be a waste of time and money, the head of the Customs and Border Protection agency told ABC News in a final warning just days before leaving office. Gil Kerlikowske, the commissioner of the CBP Jan 23, 2017

Carlos Ponce

"Since Trump has become President how many miles of new, not replacement wall has been built?"
Since the wall is replacing inadequate "fencing" not an existing wall, quite a bit.
"One thing that I do have to say is: Tremendous amounts of wall have already been built, and a lot of — a lot of wall. When you include the renovation of existing fences and walls, we've renovated a tremendous amount and we've done a lot of work. In San Diego, we're building new walls right now. And we've — right next to San Diego, we've completed a major section of wall and it's really worked well." Donald J Trump
As of May 24, 2017 74 miles of wall was built according to NPR. (that was over a year and a half ago).

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