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Eminent domain and the fight for a border wall

One of the most memorable statements made during President Trump’s election was the topic of building a border wall spanning the southern U.S. and Mexico border. Currently, there is no authorization to begin construction of the border wall. However, there are many factors causing high-cost delays in obtaining what’s necessary to go forward with the project.

Hints that the government is pursuing the wall

A recent CNN article noted several government actions that show the government may be gearing up to tackle the wall sometime soon, including:

  • Customs & Border Patrol notice about possible fence project in Rio Grande Valley
  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers doing research on real estate
  • Soil sampling by Customs & Border Patrol

Obstacles standing in the way

The owners of land across the border region include countless private and state land-owners who will have to engage in costly litigation procedures when it comes to granting ownership to the federal government. At the same time, the government will likely be giving up millions of dollars in a slow legal process in order to acquire the land.

Here are some other barriers to the process:

  • Eminent domain litigation
  • Congress lending funds to Department of Homeland Security
  • Gathering real estate records for border properties
  • Establishing clear parameters of costs and timeline

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”- Lao-Tzu

Historically, eminent domain cases tend to be long and costly. In this case, the complexities surrounding land ownership and eminent domain are numerous; and not without the resistance of opposition from the other side of the political spectrum. However it appears that the U.S. Government is not stopping with its efforts to make the border wall a reality-- eventually.

Do you think eminent domain laws in Texas should change? How?

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