A barrier to Trump’s border wall: Texas landowners who have to be coaxed or coerced to sell — whether they want to or not
Drawe, 69, doubts the wall will do much to stop illegal immigration, and although he supports the president who ordered it, he believes that the construction will “ruin” his life. But selling the land early on seemed better and cheaper than facing the government in court, only to have it take the land anyway, he reasoned. The wall, the lights and the roads will be built on about a dozen acres that his grandfather bought in the 1920s, and that will cut him off from the priceless views of the Rio Grande that he cherishes.
“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.”
Trump’s wall needs private property. But some Texans won’t give up their land without a fight.
Nayda Alvarez wants nothing to do with any border wall, but her acre of land in Rio Grande City, Tex., where she lives in a brown house along the dividing line between the United States and Mexico, has become of great interest to the U.S. government.
She, along with dozens of other landowners in the Rio Grande Valley, received surprise letters from the federal government in recent months, requests from officials who are seeking access to their properties for surveys, soil tests, equipment storage and other actions.