WASHINGTON— Congressman Henry Cuellar introduced an amendment during the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Committee markup for fiscal year 2019 that would prohibit Department of Justice funds from being misdirected towards litigation and other costs associated with the use of eminent domain in the construction of a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The border wall is bad policy regardless of how it is funded, but it certainly should not be built at the expense of our private property owners.” said Congressman Cuellar. “That is why I introduced this amendment. Funds intended for our law enforcement should not be used to infringe on the rights of property owners to build a wall, which is a 14th-Century solution to a 21st-Century problem.”
“In terms of private property, private and state-owned lands constitute 67 percent of the border, most of which is located in Texas, including a significant portion in my district.” Congressman Cuellar continued, “Not to mention acquiring real property from non-federal owners is a costly, time-consuming process requiring negotiation and sometimes condemnation; the federal government is still fighting to take people’s property to build the fence sections authorized almost 10 years ago. A wall would create an unnecessary burden on landowners and take property away from families who have lived on the border for generations.”
The amendment was voted down by Republicans during Committee markup.