#EminentDomainFail: The Barrier to The Wall Continues

by: Joshua Drake, Staff

SAN DIEGO—A year ago, we explored possible eminent domain pitfalls the Trump administration would likely endure when they secured funding for the border wall.

The exact mechanisms for funding and where the money will come from are yet to be determined. We do know the President has declared a national emergency, and there are nearly 130 statutory avenues for justification and diversion of funds.

Constitutional and congressional challenges to the emergency declaration have already been mounted, but unlike eminent domain challenges, they will be quickly dispensed with.

To this day, the eminent domain challenges are the most problematic and long standing barrier to the wall being built, as current with the still litigated 2006 Secure Fence Act.

Border residents have mixed reactions to the wall and the government’s expansive takings clause power. Some residents claim they are willing to give in and give up their land, but others now vow to fight. Some have already filed suit to prevent their land from being taken.

A ProPublica report documents how the 2006 law paved the way for government to seize land from some border residents “without just compensation.” 

The number of landowners who will fight for their land is unknown, but that number will grow by the day, and may determine the amount of time it will take for the Trump administration to get the wall built. Time doesn’t seem to be on his side. 


[Photo provided by Paul Sableman/Creative Commons]

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