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After getting their land back from the government, south Texas family fears the victory is only temporary

The Anzaldua and Cavazos families have lived along the Rio Grande for generations, but keeping their property has proven increasingly difficult.

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas — So many stories and memories are connected to the land by the Rio Grande. They make up the  legacy of the Cavazos Anzaldua families.

“My grandmother really was the one that bought this place,” said Jose Alfredo Cavazos. “She needed $1,000, because this is what they wanted for property.”

 “Our dad was the one that taught us to fish,” he added.

A few years ago, the U.S. government came asking for 6.5 acres of the family’s property to build border wall-related infrastructure.

“Ever since the last president, (Donald) Trump, announced that they're going to build the wall,we started fighting it,’ said Reynaldo Anzaldua, Cavazos’s cousin.

The family fought the takeover in court with their attorneys from the Texas Civil Rights Project and in the media, conducting numerous interviews with U.S. and international outlets.

At the end of 2021, the family and their attorney from TCRP told KENS 5, the government gave the land back.

“We were very surprised,” Anzaldua said. “We're also happy (and) grateful that it did happen.”

Even though this fight is over, the family said it fears peace is temporary.

“The next administration might be a Republican administration,” Anzaldua said. “They will go ahead and take the land, but they're gonna have to go through the whole process again, and we will fight them again.”

Until then, the two cousins and the rest of the family will focus on making new memories on their land by the river.

“We come here and fish and we come here and barbecue,” Anzaldua said. “We're retired and we're glad to have a place to come to.” 

The family’s attorney from Texas Civil Rights Project told KENS 5, this was the organization’s last open-land case. The nonprofit also said there were dozens of land takeover cases still pending, TCRP just wasn’t representing the owners.

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