The Department of Justice has been sending out letters proposing to buy land for the construction of the border wall. Two-thirds of the Southern border with Mexico is with the State of Texas. About half of that is held privately. This process has been going on since before the Trump administration, but now it becomes news.
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Texans who own land along the border have reportedly begun receiving letters about the government’s desire to purchase that land so that they can build the border wall. In fact, these letters had reportedly begun going out even before President Donald Trump was inaugurated, according to CBS News.
CBS News reported about a Texan who received one of these letters:
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.