A Small Victory in the Border Wall Boondoggle

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Much has been written in the Observer about the border wall boondoggle winding its way along the Texas-Mexico border. At $2.4 billion and counting the 670 mile border wall ranges from California to Texas. Several landowners in Texas are still fighting for fair compensation for their land from the U.S. government.

Brownsville landowner Eloisa Tamez, 74, has been one of the most outspoken landowners against the 18-foot wall being built through her backyard. In January, I wrote a story “All Walled Up” about the battle between Cameron County landowners such as Tamez and the Department of Homeland Security who has seized their land to build the wall.

At the time, DHS was back for more and planned to seize an additional piece of her property so that she would be unable to access her land on the southern side of the wall.

The other day she sent me some good news in an email “DHS backed away. I was notified that there will not be a second taking,” she wrote. “I want the people to know that it pays to raise your voice when the government practices injustice and violates human rights.”

Finally, some good news to report on the border wall front. Eloisa Tamez has been a consistent crusader for the rights of border landowners. It’s good to see a victory among all of the injustice.

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. She has a master’s in public health from Texas A&M University and a master’s in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.