- Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
- Texas landowners who have permitted the Trump administration to build a border wall on their properties are complaining that much of their land will be left on the wrong side of the wall.
- One South Texas resident told The New York Times that roughly 350 acres of his property will be trapped between the wall and the Rio Grande, and he’ll have to use gates to access it.
- He said the wall’s construction will “ruin” his life, but that he felt he had little choice but to make a deal with the government.
- It’s far from the first time Americans have faced the predicament. A number of properties have been left in a “no-man’s land” on the wrong side of the US-Mexico fence in previous years – including one golf course that shut down in 2015.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Texas landowners – many of whom support President Donald Trump – have become some of the toughest obstacles to building the long-promised US-Mexico border wall, according to a New York Times report published Thursday.
But some of these landowners are complaining not just about the wall’s construction, but how far inland it will be. In some cases, the wall will bisect their property and leave parts of it fenced off on the wrong side.
Richard Drawe, a 69-year-old South Texas resident, told The Times that roughly 350 acres of his property will be trapped between the wall and the Rio Grande, and he’ll have to use gates to access it.
He added that the US government will pay him $42,000 for the 12 acres the wall will be built on, and $197,000 in compensation for reducing the value of his farm.
He told The Times that the wall’s construction will “ruin” his life, but that he agreed to sell his land because he didn’t want a lengthy court battle only to have the government take his property anyway. He added that he supports President Donald Trump, but that he doubts the wall will be effective in stopping illegal immigration.
“We just finally gave up,” he said. “If they offered me a million dollars to build the wall, I would refuse it if I knew they wouldn’t build it. I don’t want the money. This is my life here.”
Landscape, terrain, international treaties, flood-zone requirements, and legal battles make it hard to put the wall on the actual border
- Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez
It’s far from the first time Americans have faced the predicament. A number of properties – and even businesses – have been left in a “no-man’s land” on the far side of the US-Mexico fence, even though they’re still technically on US soil.
In 2015 the Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course even went out of business after the border fence cut off the property from the rest of the US and left it sandwiched between an 18-foot iron barrier and the Rio Grande.
USA Today reported in 2017 that there was no other place for the fence to go – it couldn’t be constructed in the middle of the Rio Grande or on Mexican soil, and since the golf course was placed right next to the river, the fence had to go around the course.
- Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images
The border, particularly in Texas, is rife with similar dilemmas. The Secure Fence Act in 2006 authorized and funded hundreds of miles of border fencing, but due to a number of complications, the barriers didn’t always end up on the exact borderline.
In certain places, landscape and terrain made it impossible to construct barriers. In others, it was logistical issues such as international treaties, flood-zone requirements, and legal battles with landowners that meant any barriers had to be placed far inland.
Those challenges still exist and have in some cases slowed down the Trump administration’s efforts to build Trump’s long-promised wall. As of December 2019, just three new miles of barriers have been built, though the Trump administration has replaced 90 miles of existing barriers.
The Times reported that the government expects to eventually construct 162 miles of wall through Southern Texas – 144 of which are on privately owned land.
- Read more:
- Jared Kushner has been put in charge of delivering 450 miles of Trump’s border wall by 2020 – a task that looks close to impossible
- Berliners tried to send Trump a piece of the Berlin Wall with a message saying ‘no wall lasts forever’
- Kids were asked to ‘Build the Wall’ with paper bricks at a White House Halloween part
- Smugglers are reportedly cutting holes in Trump’s newly constructed border wall with saws and power tools