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Michelle Martin

Michelle Martin
mmartin@axley.com
262.409.2288

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Before the Border Wall is Built the Government Needs a Place to Build It

October 31, 2017

One of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises was to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border.  He promised that it would be built quickly and that Mexico would pay for it.  When most people think of the costs to build the Border Wall, they think of the costs of the construction, such as the labor and materials.  What they do not think of, however, is the cost associated with acquiring the land needed for the Border Wall.  Not only will the acquisition costs be expensive, but the acquisition itself will also be time consuming and not without opposition.

According to a recent MSN article, about two-thirds of the land necessary to build the Border Wall is owned by private individuals and states, while the other one-third is owned by the federal government and Native American tribes.  The federal government has begun the process of acquiring the necessary lands by notifying private landowners of the takings and offering compensation for them.

Acquiring all of the necessary lands for the Border Wall will be far from easy, or fast.  Presumably, the federal government will face opposition from landowners, states, and tribes.  The opposition will be both to the amount of the compensation for the takings and to the federal government’s right to take the lands in the first place.  As this issue unfolds, we will provide updates on our blog.

Compensable Taking

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