Texas Hold-Outs

I’m not quite sure what to make of this situation:

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month.  Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

Now of course this is an Associated Press report (motto:  we put the “Ass” into “Press”) so I don’t know how much credence to put into the word “some”, as written above.  How many, exactly, is “some”?  Five?  Twenty?  Five hundred?

If it’s just a few, then fuckem.  The need for a secure border is greater than their need for a couple hundred acres of (largely) semi-desert.  And if it is a small number, I’d have no problem with the wall being built right up to the property line, and have those property owners have to deal with the funneled hordes of illegals trying to gatecrash our party.  (Suggestion:  the very first time they appeal for help from, say, ICE or the Border Patrol, they get told to shut the fuck up and live with the problem they caused for themselves.)

If, however, that “some” means “lots and lots” then there’ll have to be serious negotiations.  I suspect, however, that this threat of lawsuits is simply a negotiating position (for some of them, anyway) so that Uncle Sam can pay them an inflated sum for that valuable land.

I’m often skeptical about the Gummint’s use of “eminent domain” to take private property away from the owners, but if ever there are good reasons for its use, a secure border would probably rank near the top of the list.  Lest we forget:

Building in the region is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security because it’s the busiest area for illegal border crossings.  More than 23,000 parents and children were caught illegally crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley in November — more than triple the number from a year earlier.

Myself, I’d hire the selfsame wall-building companies that enabled Israel to keep the hordes of Arabs from flooding their country;  that, or thousands of “smart” landmines coupled with robotic machine-gun towers.  But that’s just me.


  1. As a real estate developer in NYC the Trumpmeister has had to deal with such numbnuts for a half century. In his book Art of the Deal he writes of a hold out when constructing Trump Tower.

    I suggest if need be that the wall simply GO AROUND said contested property. Essentially placing any idiots on the Mexican side of the border.

  2. The state of Texas had no problem declaring eminent domain to run high voltage power lines right thru my parents property so a private company could make more profit.

    They also declared eminent domain for a lake to be created to provide cooling water to a different power company.

    The wall is actually a true public interest for which eminent domain makes sense, so sucks to be them but they might as well take the money and deal with it.

  3. I heard once that the actual border is a 50′ wide strip of FEDERAL PROPERTY…..

    If that’s true then there is no issue. Unless the ranchers have encroached on the federal land, in which case they owe years and years of back taxes.

  4. My take: if you own an old piece of land that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, Uncle Sam is going to make an offer to put his fence/wall in your land. Take the money or not, your call.

    If you decline and I was the Gummint, I would build the wall right up to your line, leave a gap, then continue on the other side of your ranch.

    Then I’d come back in a year and ask how Life is treating you, what with all those people crossing through that open gate on you land. Then I’d offer you 1/10th of the previous bid.

    It might take an extra year to finish, but the wall would get done.

    1. I’d also monitor the land, for environmental crimes. Plus all the criminals that he’s facilitating crossing it.

  5. And if it is a small number, I’d have no problem with the wall being built right up to the property line, and have those property owners have to deal with the funneled hordes of illegals trying to gatecrash our party.

    You’re assuming that they aren’t straw owners for the cartels in the first place.

    1. My first thought also.. from the article:
      “Those in the way include landowners who have lived in the valley for generations, environmental groups and a 19th century chapel.”

      Humm.. environmental groups huh? So what if environmental groups bought up land along the border with the intention of tying up the border wall in court to get Trump out of office in 2020 because he broke his promise of building the wall? Environmental impact of 1000s of illegals tossing trash and literally crapping thier way across this “pristine land” be damed! Cause, yanno, to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs!

      And a “19th century church”.. you mean like the Alamo? Trump is going to build a wall through the Alamo? Forget about the symbolism of why the Alamo is etched onto every Texan’s soul.. a last stand to stop Mexicans from taking over Texas!

      I like the idea of building the wall arround those holdouts. Close off their access to the US and make them go though an official crossing to get in the country. Course then they would set up tents where, for a fee, pregnant Mexicans could give birth on US soil, so maybe that’s not such a good idea, especially as it essentially gives our sovereign soil to a foreign nation. Too much patriot blood has been spilled for us to allow that.

  6. Don’t remember much of Real Estate law after all these years, but I believe if the US of A built a wall on the north of the hold-outs property, the property to the south could be considered abandoned and would revert to the property owner (Mexico) to the south. Might be mistaken; didn’t spend too much sober time in that class.

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