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People We Love :: Eloisa Tamez

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Fighting for a World Without Borders

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A leader in the fight against the U.S.–Mexico border fence, Eloisa Tamez gained national attention in January after refusing to allow government surveyors onto her border property in Texas.

Her three-acre property lies along the Rio Grande and is all that remains of a 12,000-acre piece given to her family by Spain in 1767. The fence would pass through her land, likely dividing it in two.

The U.S. government plans to build 700 miles of border fence, including 70 miles in the Rio Grande Valley by year’s end. In April, the Department of Homeland Security waived more than 30 environmental and land-use laws in order to expedite fence construction. Tamez calls such actions “an abuse of power, overtaking people who have minimal or no recourse at all to be able to fight the government.” 

Tamez was ordered by a federal court to allow government access to her land, but she continues to voice opposition and has vowed not to give up.



Layla Aslani wrote this article as part of Purple America, the Fall 2008 issue of YES! Magazine. Layla is a YES! editorial intern. Photo of Layla Aslani
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