WSJ: ‘Eminent domain to put dent in Trump’s border wall plan’
(INTELLIHUB) — A good number of people would tend to agree that President Donald J. Trump will get ‘er done when it comes to just about anything life throws at him. Whether it’s resisting daily attacks from a handful of the same corporate media whores or owning and building a grip of the finest investment properties in the world, Trump’s track record and his ability to rapidly adapt speaks for itself.
Nonetheless Evan Siegfried, in a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal Thursday, criticized the president’s plan to build the border wall and explained how he thinks building a 1,954-mile-long wall may be trickier than the president expects.
In the article, Siegfried wrote, “Mr. Trump fails to take into account the major hurdle the wall faces: eminent domain […] the U.S. would need to own all 1,954 miles of the border” in able to proceed with the wall’s construction.
But maybe Siegfried does not fully realize that projects involving eminent domain are built all of the time and greenlighted regularly.
For example, there are people all the time who own farmland or even a home near a proposed roadway and yet the roadway still goes in over time. This happens commonly in both urban and rural settings and in some cases is part of the gentrification process in which the municipality in charge ultimately takes possession of land by offering the landowner(s) what’s known as “just compensation” under the 5th and the roads are built.
But Siegfried insists:
Recent history shows that’s easier said than done. In 2006 Congress passed the Secure Fence Act with strong bipartisan backing, including the support of New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, now Senate minority leader. The law authorized construction of a border fence along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, including 100 miles in Texas. Lawmakers expected swift completion of the project.
Instead, a decade later, there are unfenced gaps—because the fence had to have holes to accommodate local ranchers whose cattle graze on the southern side, but also due to property owners’ fighting land seizures in federal court.
But per contra, what Siegfried suggests is not always the case. And in response to the “unfenced gaps” and “holes” in the current border fence, such problems are better attributed to the manner in which $1.2B of Bush appropriated funding was spent on the FY2017 project — or should I say, not spent.
It turns out that when President George W. Bush signed H.R. 6061 on Oct. 26, 2006, a CNN poll followed shortly after which said that most Americans “prefer the idea of more Border Patrol agents to a 700-mile (1,125-kilometer) fence.” The statement was blatant propaganda, possibly used as a tool to facilitate the misappropriation of the $1.2B to the Department of Homeland Security as a whole and not specifically for the border fence project as originally intended. Needless to say, only a portion of the funding went to the construction of the fence which led to major security issues along the line.
[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s amazing to watch this all unfold in real-time as TPTB can’t stand it — @ShepardAmbellas” quote=”It’s amazing to watch this all unfold in real-time as the powers-that-be can’t stand to see how a real border wall may soon be a possibility.”]
So when we talk about “holes” and “gaps” in the 700-mile section, let’s remember that it was never an intention of the Bush Administration to build the fence properly in the first place because the money was funneled into the Deep State’s war chest. Not to mention that all of this costs the American people big time.
Withal you have a dual edged sword. On one edge you have the need for a wall and on the other edge, you have people who own property which may be affected by the construction of such wall.
Be as it may, when it comes to eminent domain, once the initial offers are given to landowners who are affected — prices typically catapult shortly after. And to Siegfried’s credit who already pointed this out, I agree.
An Associated Press analysis of court documents last year found that when homeowners reject the feds’ initial offers to buy their borderlands, the cost skyrockets.
The Nature Conservancy balked at an offer of $114,000 for a fence on its land in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, and ultimately settled for $1 million. A developer in Brownsville, Texas, was offered $233,000 but ended up with $4.7 million three years later.
In a youthful response to all of this failed presidential candidate, Jeb Bush reared his ugly head on Twitter Friday when he mocked Trump’s potential border wall struggles purported in the article titled Trump Can’t Build a Border Wall Without the Real Estate.
In the tweet, Ol’ Jeb included a link to the WSJ and tweeted “Reality sets in” as if he’s happy that Trump may hit unforeseen roadblocks when attempting to actually build a real wall, not a faux wall as erected during the Bush Admin.
Reality sets in. https://t.co/OnjcBTelhV
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 17, 2017