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Thoughts on a government land grab

A Texas family that owns land on the Mexican border has received a “Declaration of Taking” from the federal government, according to a Texas Observer story published this week.It essentially gives the family a chance to accept compensation for the government’s seizure of about an acre of borderland.It’s very possible that’s for a Trumpian wall. The president’s budget blueprint requests “.6 billion in high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology, including funding to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border,” and Politico reports another .5bn will be requested in a supplemental spending bill.The implied commitment to a physical wall is a step in the direction of a literal implementation of the promise that folks like Peter Thiel said should only be taken as a serious intent. Bad news for those who thought Trump’s promise of a border wall just meant, like, an invisible, virtual kind carried out by aerial surveillance, etc.(There’s also an item in Trump’s budget for 20 lawyers to argue these borderland-seizure cases, as the New York Times notes.)Some additional thoughts:1. This process seems especially politically risky in Texas, where many residents like to say they’re Texan first and American second. They’re usually not joking. There’s a pledge of allegiance to the Texas flag that’s codified in state law.2.

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A Texas family that owns land on the Mexican border has received a “Declaration of Taking”...

Alexandra Scaggs
Alexandra Scaggs is a markets reporter for the Wall Street Journal in New York. She writes about the U.S. stock market and investment trends. She also covers the business of markets research, writing on the calls, personalities and moves of high-profile analysts and strategists. Ms. Scaggs graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business journalism.

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