Trump administration has acquired little of the private land in Texas it needs for border barrier

Faced with intense pressure to meet Trump’s 500-mile campaign pledge, administration officials have instead prioritized the lowest-hanging fruit of the barrier project, accelerating construction along hundreds of miles of flat desert terrain under federal control in Western states where the giant steel structure can be erected with relative ease.

That has deferred the tougher work of adding miles of fencing along the zigzagging course of the lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal crossings. There, along the winding river’s edge, the land is almost all privately held, and the government would need to obtain it — either via purchases or eminent domain land grabs — before any construction begins.

The government has just started to contact dozens of landowners for permission to visit their farms and ranches for survey work along major stretches of the Texas border.


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