Life Along the Border Wall
In 2008, the Observer’s Melissa del Bosque began investigating the impact of the Secure Fence Act on border communities in Texas. The legislation passed in 2006 mandated that 700 miles of fence be built along the southern border. In Texas hundreds of landowners began receiving condemnation notices in late 2007 from the U.S. government. In most cases landowners were offered minimal compensation for the loss of their land. Melissa discovered that a consortium of private contractors led by Boeing Co. had received a multibillion-dollar contract to build fences, vehicle barriers and surveillance systems under the Secure Fence Act. The private contractors had also been tasked with outreach to the communities. Melissa found that lower-income landowners were more likely to receive fencing on their properties than wealthier, politically connected landowners.