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Regardless of your political leanings, we can all agree that one of the most talked about issues during this past election cycle was the proposal to erect a wall along the Mexican border. Despite the fact that the current president indicated that Mexico would be paying for the wall, the administration is currently seeking funding from Congress to build it, and it is important to note that building such a wall would take more than money – it would also require the government to secure the land on which the wall would sit.
To illustrate this point, it is instructive to consider the arguable spiritual precursor to the wall – the Bush Administration’s fence. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 set aside funds for approximately 2000 miles of fencing between U.S. and Mexico, much of which sat in Texas on privately owned land.
According to a report published by the Star Tribune, 10 years later, the government is still settling claims with landowners whose land was affected by the Secure Fence Act. While eminent domain allows the government to take land for a public purpose, it also requires it to pay the landowners from whom the land is taken “just compensation” – an issue which can and often is contested by landowners, sometimes leading to years of court proceedings and negotiations.
The Star-Tribune reports that about 90 cases are still pending and the current administration may face similar legal battles if it needs to secure more land for its proposed wall.
As a landowner whose property is the subject of a proposed or pending condemnation action, it is important to keep in mind that you have rights. The best way to protect these rights is to retain an experience eminent domain lawyer as soon as you realize that the government may attempt to take your property. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call Sever Storey today at 888-318-3761 or send us an email through our online contact form.
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