Border State Senators Introduce Legislation to Prevent Trump Admin. From Unilaterally Seizing Private Land For Border Wall

WASHINGTON, D.C. Jan. 30, 2019 – Today, U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the Full Fair and Complete Exchange Act, legislation that would prohibit the federal government from taking possession of land for border infrastructure until all persons or entities entitled to compensation are remunerated in full. The bill ensures that the federal government provide compensation on a timely basis for land acquired for border infrastructure, and would require consultation and approval from relevant stakeholders, including tribes, for any acquired State land.

President Trump has repeatedly threatened to declare a state of emergency so he could use executive authority to build a wall along the southern border. Recent reports show that the administration is staffing up for an increase in eminent domain property seizures, calling into question the impact of using eminent domain to build a border wall.

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“The president’s vanity project of a wall is a waste of taxpayer money and fails to combat trafficking by transnational gangs,” said Senator Harris. “As a border state Senator, I’m concerned that there are insufficient protections for border community residents against this administration’s potential attempts to seize their homes and lands. This bill is an important step forward to protect the rights of residents of our border communities and would provide a necessary check on the executive.”

A copy of the bill is available here.