Judge says feds may survey historic chapel's land for wall

Published 02-06-2019

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MCALLEN, Texas (AP) - A judge has ruled the federal government may enter the property of a historic South Texas chapel to survey its suitability for a border wall.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Wednesday rejected the Brownsville Roman Catholic diocese's argument that granting federal access to the La Lomita Chapel would violate federal religious freedom laws.

Crane ruled Wednesday in McAllen that allowing the access would pose no burden on the Mission, Texas, chapel.

The attorney for the federal government said the survey wouldn't require access to the chapel itself.

The Rev. Roy Snipes, who is pastor of the chapel, says he will continue fighting federal efforts to build a wall through the chapel grounds, which also serve as a city park.

The La Lomita Chapel was founded by missionaries in 1865.

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