The Brownsville Catholic Diocese has suffered a blow to its efforts to stop new border wall construction on historic church property in Hidalgo County.
McAllen federal judge Randy Crane Wednesday granted government surveyors access to properties in the city of Mission on which La Lomita Chapel and Juan Diego Academy sit.
However, the judge urged attorneys for the two sides to negotiate an agreement that allows reasonable access to the 154-year-old chapel. The ruling came following a hearing on a diocese lawsuit that claims the planned border wall would infringe on the free exercise of religion.
The government wants access to the property for what would be an extension of the existing levee wall. But the Department of Homeland Security has not been clear about the route the wall would take nor how much property it needs to acquire.