The Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent notices to Texas landowners about purchasing their property as the ball begins to roll on building Trump’s wall. While these landowners don’t have a choice in the matter — the government could seize the property no matter what — they’ll at least be compensated. However, the issue of fair compensation arises, and these residents don’t want to give up their homes, so some of them are fighting back. The Texas Observer reports that DHS has sent a land condemnation order to Texas resident Yvette Salinas, who owns a 115-acre property, and she’s been given two options:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to build a border wall on her family’s land near Los Ebanos. The 21-page document, entitled a “Declaration of Taking,” is addressed to her ailing mother, Maria Flores, who owns the property with her siblings. The letter offers Flores $2,900 for 1.2 acres near the Rio Grande. If she chooses not to accept the offer, the land could be seized through eminent domain. “It’s scary when you read it,” Salinas says. “You feel like you have to sign.”
Sadly, this is neither the first time that Salinas has received such a notice nor the first time the government has expressed intent to build a wall. In 2006, as part of the Secure Fence Act, the George W. Bush administration erected 110 miles of fencing on private land in Texas. And in 2008, Salinas’ family was again offered $2,900 for the land. This time, the government appears intent upon going through with the process.
However, the Texas Observer points towards a treaty between the U.S and Mexico that blocks construction in Los Ebanos and Rio Grande, since floodwaters could be pushed into the area if building occurs. NPR believes this could be a bargaining chip that surrounding communities may use to negotiate for more money or push back.