Trump's border wall gets a cool reception on the border, from landowners and lawmakers alike
Donald Trump’s insistence that a border wall is an EMERGENCY doesn’t seem to be getting much traction among people on the actual border. Just two out of 17 members of the House and Senate who represent border areas say they support Trump’s wall plans, and one of those two was evasive—new Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona said only that she had voted for wall funding in the House last month and wouldn’t comment further.
Even far-right Texas Sen. John Cornyn has said that, in his state, “the idea of a wall is somewhat off-putting to a lot of people.” It’s more than somewhat off-putting to many landowners along the border, who are getting ready for a legal fight against having their land seized through eminent domain. It’s not just land for a wall, either. Customs and Border Protection wants a cleared 150-foot “enforcement zone.” Among those getting ready for a fight is Eloisa Cavazos, whose family has owned its land for 60 years:
“You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”
Also preparing to fight is a local Catholic church that sits on land CBP wants for its enforcement zone. “It would still be a sacred place, but it would be a sacred place that was desecrated,” said Father Roy Snipes.
While border landowners line up their lawyers, one place the border EMERGENCY apparently didn’t feel like such an emergency was the newly sworn-in Texas state legislature. It was a day stressing unity, though the new speaker of the state House did have one big announcement. He’d gotten new cups for the members’ lounge, highlighting a priority issue for him: “School finance reform: The time is now.”