The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to submit court filings to take over private land on the U.S.-Mexico border, allowing border wall construction to move forward.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner met with administration and military officials Friday. He discussed government takeover of private land along the Texas border, according to a report by NBC. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was reportedly in attendance, along with Robert Salesses and Kenneth Rapuano, both of whom serve as assistant secretaries for homeland defense.
Lawyers for the Department of Defense and the Justice Department have prepared rights of entry letters, which will inform affected land owners that the U.S. government will be entering their property to asses the area, which will include soil testing and land surveys.
In most domain cases, the government settles on a specific amount of money before it takes over land, but the administration has not yet confirmed how much it will compensate landowners, according to sources who spoke with NBC. However, the White House could file under the Declaration of Taking Act, a move that would likely hasten the time it takes for the government to buy border land.
A group of Texas landowners who oppose border wall construction are fighting the Trump administration in court over the issue. (Read more from “Report: Trump Administration to Seize Private Land for Border Wall” HERE)