News & Politics

Donald Trump's Mexican Border Wall Is Happening, and He's Taking Texans' Land for It

The eminent domain was not allowed when George W. Bush tried it last decade.

US-Mexican border in Arizona, USA
Photo Credit: Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock

It has already been reported that many West Texans are opposed to President Donald Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, but now it appears that one group with a particularly strong reason to dislike it — individuals who own land that the government might covet for building that wall — are in danger of having their property seized from them.

Maria Flores, a Texas woman who along with her siblings co-owns 1.2 acres near the town of Los Ebanos, received a letter in the week before Trump’s inauguration declaring that the government would seize her land using eminent domain.

Flores was offered $2,900 for the land, the same amount that was offered when President George W. Bush’s administration attempted to seize their land to build a wall more than a decade ago. The Bush administration ultimately had to abandon their efforts due to a U.S.-Mexico treaty that prohibits building structures in the Texas floodplain that could result in flooding of nearby communities. However, the Department of Homeland Security successfully lobbied to the International Boundary and Water Commission (which manages the treaty) to build a wall in the floodplain in 2012, setting a precedent that could be used against Flores.

 

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and his work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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