Ahead of Thursday’s visit to McAllen, TX, President Trump walked out of a meeting with Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi when Pelosi said no to the wall once again. He has also threatened, once again, to declare a national emergency if his wall is not green lit. His legal reason for the declaration is still not clear.
However, 1.6B has already been approved in March for a wall that is 25 miles long and have 18-foot steel posts atop it. The CBP would like 150 feet cleared in front of the wall to attain an “enforcement zone”. This zone would consist of access roads, cameras, and lighting. The length of the would run along a levee and across La Lomita, a Catholic chapel established in 1865.
The wall has land owners prepared for a legal fight due to the fact the government would have to use “eminent domain” to seize the land for the wall. Surveyors have already begun assessing and measuring the land.
Though the President has stated there is a unified Republican front for the wall, many Republicans in McAllen, the largest city along the Rio Grande, say the city is not in crisis. Many of the residents there have said the same thing, refuting President Trump’s claims.
The Declaration and Eminent Domain
President Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency several times, but continues to overlook two key factors in being successful if he goes through with his threat: a legal reason, and the fact that the declaration would not grant eminent domain. In order for land to be seized under eminent domain, it must be clearly demonstrated that the land will be for public use. A border wall with access roads is not public use.