Don’t Mess With Texas Landowners: Trump’s Border Wall Blues
ROMA, TEXAS — June 9, 2018
Private landowners in Texas are complaining about the actions of the government in the region. They’ve received notices from the federal government asking to review their land, which could be used for border wall construction. For the moment the officials say about 200 of these requests were made in Starr and Hidalgo counties. At the same time, residents whose territories are under threat of eminent domain are dissatisfied with the compensation that has been offered to them.
KENS-TV reports that property owners along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas received letters from the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection a few weeks ago for consent to survey their land. But the price they offered is extremely unfair according to those who received the offer.
For example, Roma resident Felix Rodriguez said he was visited by a government employee surveying his land earlier this year, offering $300 for a portion of his 500-square-foot property. He said that this land costs at least $1,500, 3 times the governments offer…
But the price is not the only thing that landowners don’t like. They also do not want to live close to a 30-foot tall "fence".
“I walk out the back door and what I’m going to see is a 30-foot fence,” said Noel Escobar, the Mayor of Escobares, who has received the “happy notice” as well.
Some Texas lawyers believe that the border construction funded by the 2018 law has good chance to fail because the law did not take into account the concerns of local stakeholders. Unlike in Arizona, New Mexico or California, much of the land along the Texas-Mexico border is privately owned. Due to this, the government is likely to run into trouble because it is seeking to build where it doesn’t already own the land, meaning it must first acquire the property from owners who have no interest in selling it. The government is going to need a lot of lawyers to make Trump’s promise a reality.