“This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats,” stated Rusty Monsees, who owns 21 acres steps from the river. “We’re Texans.”
Though he helps President Trump’s proposed border wall, he says he’s fearful about being pressured to promote his land low cost to be able to accommodate the brand new barrier.
He’s one in every of hundreds of landowners who’re gearing up for a authorized battle alongside the 138 meandering miles of the Rio Grande as US Customs and Border Patrol begins the “Border Infrastructure Venture” to survey lands wanted for a border wall.
The landowners who refuse to signal on to the mission and promote their land danger being sued by the federal authorities and having their land seized via eminent area.
“It’s going to be a protracted, drawn-out struggle,” stated Charles McFarland, a Houston lawyer who has been locked in a decade-long battle with the federal authorities on behalf of a shopper who owns 140,000 acres within the Rio Grande Valley and refused to promote a part of their land when the Bush administration drew up plans to construct a barrier.
Through the Obama period, Monsees misplaced three acres of land beneath eminent area — and was paid a paltry $500 an acre.
McFarland is anticipating an inflow of latest purchasers as surveys get underway for the Trump construction.
“As soon as they’ve their surveys, they may file petitions to accumulate title,” McFarland stated.
Fred Cavazos, who owns 77 riverfront acres in Mission, advised The Submit he’ll go to courtroom to guard his land.
The proposed wall will minimize off his entry to the river, the place he has 30 tenants who lease trip cabins on land that has been in his household for tons of of years, stated Cavazos, sitting in his wheelchair close to a cottage the place he realized to fish as a baby.
“In the event that they minimize off entry to my land, and I can’t lease out the cabins, I don’t understand how I’ll survive,” stated the 71-year-old paraplegic.
Cavazos is a descendant of Jose Narciso Cavazos, who obtained the most important land grant — 600,000 acres — from the King of Spain in 1792. Over time the parcel has shrunk via land seizures and household disputes because the area modified palms from Spain to Mexico to Texas to the US.
His cousin, Rey Anzaldua, 74, a retired customs officer, stated, “Our household has been right here since earlier than there was a United States. In the event that they construct a wall, we’re going to tear it down.”