CBP Addresses Questions Over Alleged Trespassing

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MISSION – The National Butterfly Center is taking legal action against the federal government.

The center’s director Marianna Trevino-Wright said the legal team has started the process for filing a lawsuit.

The National Butterfly Association is still waiting for better communication with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“There may be some expectation that they will communicate land owners in our experience is more likely not to happen or not to happen in a complete transparent and accountable manner,” said Wright.

In July, Wright found construction crews on the center's private property. The workers were there without permission. She said they destroyed part of the habitat.

In July, CBP sent CHANNEL 5 NEWS this statement:

“The work that was being completed by the CTIMR contractor was on a road that is on the Butterfly Center, just north of the levee. However, the property manager for the Butterfly Center thought the activities being completed by Baker were also being conducted on the road that is on the Butterfly Center. CBP has a license with the butterfly center to conduct the CTIMR work.  The Butterfly Center was not notified of the work before it took place, which is typically part of the process.”

Border Patrol supervisor Daniel Tirado spoke to us about CTIMR, or Comprehensive Tactical Infrastructure Maintenance and Repair. He said it's an agreement with the butterfly center set in place for years.

"What it is, it's a contract company that comes in and based on the agreements with the landowners they go and facilitate the brush clearance,” said Tirado.

In August, Wright sent CBP a letter to terminate the agreement.  The termination came after the alleged incident with contract workers.

"As far as we're concerned, they're authority to enter the property and do those things they no longer have that authority,” said Wright.

Tirado said the nature center has the right to terminate the contract.

However, even with the termination agents can still enter the property. They have authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to enforce border security.


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