Yesterday, a joint investigative piece from Texas Tribune and ProPublica found that American taxpayers’ bills for Trump’s unpopular border wall are several billion dollars higher than previously anticipated, again. Now, reports from CNN and data from Texas Civil Rights Project, reveal these same Texas taxpayers, who are footing the bill for the wall while juggling the pandemic, are also seeing their private land being ripped out from under them, with at least 75 government lawsuits under way to seize their land. As the report notes:
Between May and October 22, 75 lawsuits to take private land were filed in Texas… A US official confirmed to CNN that the administration has been moving at a faster rate to obtain private land to meet the White House’s goal…The spike in so-called eminent domain lawsuits has been a trend under this administration, as the President tries to hit 450 miles by year’s end. The Rio Grande Valley, where land is largely privately owned and therefore an epicenter of eminent domain cases, has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Texas, as a whole, ranks as the number two state in Covid-19 cases.
This is part of an escalation by the Trump administration as they tout their 400 miles of border wall to bolster the President’s reelection campaign. It encapsulates Trump’s presidency and his immigration agenda and how Sen. John Cornyn has been in lockstep with the President all along. While Sen. Cornyn, in a tough reelection bid, says he privately opposes the wall, what’s missing is the public condemnation from Sen. Cornyn, who is the number two Republican in the Senate.
According to Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaigns Manager for America’s Voice:
Trump and his cronies make continued promises that this rush to build the border wall is meant to protect Americans and especially American workers. But ripping these landowners’ property out from under them and forcing them to present themselves in court – during a pandemic that has taken over 200,000 American lives – risks their health, their overall livelihood and the wellbeing of border communities. Doesn’t really sound like Trump and his sidekick John Cornyn are protecting the American people as they promised.
Cornyn has even gone as far as to portray himself as an opponent – in private – of Trump’s raid of billions of dollars from the military, but his very public voting record says differently. We need a leader in Texas that stands up to the ‘Dear Leader’ and shouts, not whispers his dissent. It seems like Cornyn is too afraid to fight for Texans.
Here in Texas, we ask you, John Cornyn, to publicly respond, ‘Do you support this corrupt, mendacious and racist border wall? Do you embrace the damage it is doing to Texas and our border communities?’ We are looking for a straight answer, because frankly, you’ve failed us too many times and we have had enough.