Trump border wall: Texans receiving letters about their land

President Trump moves forward on another campaign promise.

CBS News

Even before President Trump was inaugurated, U.S. citizens who own land along the border reportedly began receiving letters from the Justice Department informing them that the federal government wants their land to build a fence (i.e. the president’s border wall), that it intends to acquire their land and the amount of compensation the government is offering.

Yvette Salinas, a Texan whose ailing mother owns a small parcel of land with her siblings near the Rio Grande was informed by the “Declaration of Taking” letter sent by DOJ that her 1.2 acres was worth $2,900, according to a story in the Texas Observer. She told the Observer that the family’s 16 acres has been in her family for five generations. The government’s letter asks recipients to sign in order to receive compensation, acknowledge that they “do not have an interest” in the case or do not intend to make a claim. It doesn’t really say what landowners should do if, like Salinas, they don’t want to sell their land.

Salinas called the letter “scary” and said “you feel you have to sign.” Her family is consulting a lawyer about its next steps. If other border landowners have the same reluctance to sell as Salinas, the government may have a long battle ahead to secure all the land necessary for the wall, given that the federal government doesn’t own most of it. The nearly 2,000-mile southern border is composed of federal, state, tribal and private lands. There are 632 miles of federal or tribal land — 33 percent — and the other 67 percent, most of which is in Texas, is private or state-owned, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Washington Post points out that the president would need Congress to pass a bill to acquire the tribal lands for his wall.

Salinas is an obstructionist. She’s a Mexican. She’d rather see Texas land under Mexican government control. Her land is nearly worthless anyway. It’s maybe worth a thousand an acre.

Like many Caucasian families, my family never owned any land because we were dirt poor Southern tenant farmers. Salinas can keep her remaining 15 acres and be thankful that it’s not occupied by illegal Mexican squatters.

4 thoughts on “Trump border wall: Texans receiving letters about their land

  1. Pingback: Trump border wall: Texans receiving letters about their land | Afro Futurism

  2. These letters are a bad way to go about this. The letters’ tones seem coercive (I have not read the letters). The wall is not just a security measure or construction project, it is a national effort to secure our southern border. It is very controversial. We need people to be on-board, and a more conciliatory tone from our gov’t would go over much better. I would suggest the gov’t offer to lease the land instead, of course with all rights and access necessary for the wall’s purposes. Lease it from the rightful owners on condition that if the owner sells the land, then it reverts to the U.S. gov’t The gov’t could also offer to buy it from anyone willing to sell. For anyone who refuses either option, enact eminent domain. There could be no fairer way to get this done. It mitigates messy publicity, ill-will, and unnecessary litigation. If I were a land-owner, I would jump at the chance to lease my land. Oil companies here in Texas have been leasing land for years, and it works out well for all concerned. And, Mexico can pay a yearly toll to us for its citizens crossing back and forth into our country.

  3. To add to my previous comment: After Donald Trump’s election, the people who voted for him believe that our gov’t will be less obnoxious and oblivious to our lives/rights, if not less down-right hostile to us (not just seeing us as tax donkeys/serfs) and be more considerate of us as citizens. This wall business could go a long way towards that.

  4. Some will hire (((lawyers))) where it will eventually go to the 9th circuit. There it will be ruled unconstitutional using an unconstitutional reason.

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