The Trump administration could end up seizing land from private landowners in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico Border.
In an effort to protect private landowners, two U.S. Congressmen introduced legislation Wednesday that would block wall construction on private property.
KAWC’S Stephanie Sanchez has the details.
Democratic representatives Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Beto O’Rourke of Texas introduced “The Protecting the Property Rights of Border Landowners Act” which will prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney general from using eminent domain to acquire land for the purpose of constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under the 5th amendment, the federal government has the power to claim private land for public purposes as long as it compensates owners. However, the process can be long and expensive in court for the government to acquire the piece of land.
Representative Gallego said President Trump’s Wall Project a waste of taxpayer money.
“How did this go did from Mexico is going to pay for it to the U.S. citizens are going to pay for it?" Gallego said. "and they’re also going to make U.S. citizens give up their private land and their property rights that are associated with it. That is not what the intent of eminent domain is.”
President Trump’s wall project would stretch about 2,000 miles from California, Arizona and Texas.
Currently, 91 eminent domain condemnation cases remain open from 10 years ago-the last time the government tried to seize land for a wall.