President Trump has promised a wall at the US-Mexico border that could be 35 to 50 feet high and could cost $25 billion or more. The proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border represents one of the largest eminent domain undertakings in the nation’s recent history.
One of the main hurdles Trump will face is the use of eminent domain, which involves taking land from private owners for public use. Federal and tribal lands make up only around one third of the 2,000 mile southern border, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Around 67 percent of the nearly 2,000 border miles constitute private and state-owned lands. The wall would impact property owners in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Some 650 miles of the border has already been fortified with fencing and barriers from George W. Bush’s border fence.
The Government usually budgets for acquiring property on all of their public use projects. The Government will need to purchase the land as well as potential severance damages that include having a wall across the land. The wall could impact farms, future development, business operations and more.
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