Federal government targets 39 acres in Starr County for proposed border wall

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The federal government has filed two land condemnation lawsuits against residents in Starr County for more proposed border wall.

One lawsuit seeks 34.38 acres from Florentino Luera on a property near the Zapata County line.

The federal government has filed a land condemnation lawsuit seeking approximately 34 acres from land owners in Starr County for proposed border wall. (The Monitor)

The other seeks the condemnation of 5.03 acres from Florencia and Salvador Garcia. That property is off Midway Road in Rio Grande City — near a bend in the Rio Grande.

The federal government has filed a land condemnation lawsuit seeking approximately 5 acres from land owners in Starr County for proposed border wall. (The Monitor)

“The public purpose for which said property is taken is to conduct surveying, testing, and other investigatory work needed in consideration of any plan for proposed construction of border barrier, including gates and power to operate such gates as well as roads that will be required to construct, operate, and maintain the border barrier,” both lawsuits read.

The lawsuits, which were filed July 1, are the latest in the federal government’s efforts to build border wall in Starr County, which has moved forward since President Joe Biden announced after his election in 2020 that his administration would not build another foot of border wall.

In 2022, about a year after Biden’s inauguration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced a plan to build 86 miles of new border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, essentially walling off the entire region.

That proposal was significantly scaled back in 2023 when CBP published a letter seeking public input on building up to 20 miles of new border wall in Starr County.

That plan called for border wall to be centered around Salineno, running to the south following the river and to the north, ending south of the Falcon International Reservoir.

The condemnation suit seeking 34.38 acres in Zapata County is approximately 30 minutes away from Salineno.

The location sought in Rio Grande City by the federal government is also approximately 30 minutes away from Salineno.


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