The state of Texas has some new allies in its battle against illegal immigration. The Washington Examiner reports that a group of 123 homeowners has agreed to let the state place fencing along sections of their properties near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Examiner said that as of Wednesday, 123 homeowners living in Val Verde County have agreed to allow an 8-foot-tall barbed-wire metal fence to be erected at the edge of their properties. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said 82 of the 123 people referenced have signed agreements with the state’s military department conducting the program.
Only 150 miles of the 1,250 miles of land Texas shares with Mexico have a substantive barrier, according to the Examiner. Of the roughly 1,100 miles of fencing the state is responsible for, a large portion of that total has been addressed through the agreement with Texas residents.
Texas has identified 733 miles of border-front land where it can build, and the Texas National Guard will carry out the project, the Examiner said.
All of the land belongs to residents who agreed to assist the state. A Newsmax report said this is significant and will allow Texas to avoid eminent domain lawsuits by property owners. Those cases held up the Trump administration's efforts to acquire private land for construction. In this case, the landowners are working with the state to secure their property lines, eliminating the need for litigation.
The Abbott administration’s success in securing approval from landowners allows the state to immediately begin securing a vulnerable spot in the 1,250-mile stretch between the U.S. and Mexico. The governor has indicated the state could award a contract for wall construction to begin later this month.
Often referred to by federal border authorities as the Del Rio region, a remote region of south-central Texas, has the third-highest total of illegal immigration nationwide, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Its office reports there were 144,500 encounters with immigrants who had crossed the border illegally between February and July.
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