Now That It Looks Like the Border Wall is Happening, a Lot of Rio Grande Valley Landowners are Worried

The President's budget puts the pedal to the medal when it comes to the border wall, and that's cash a shadow over South Texas, where many landowners are afraid of what it will do to their property.

"Because it's not necessarily going up next to the river.  It can be the middle of our land.  Now you're giving up land on the other side to Mexico," one man, who lives in San Ysidro, tells News Radio 1200 WOAI.

The budget plan rolled out this month by the White House includes $4.1 billion through next year for construction.  

"The request would fund efforts to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, and make other critical investments in tactical border infrastructure and technology," according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.  "The request also proposes funding to increase immigration detention capacity, which is necessary to ensure the removal of illegal aliens from the United States."

The department, in plans to contractors, says the wall will be 30 feet tall and made entirely of concrete. 

That's drawing worry from landowners groups, who use water from the Rio Grande to irrigate their crops.

"I have a pump by the river and I have a pipeline to my fields.  How are you going to handle that," the landowner, who didn’t want to use his name, told WOAI's Michael Board.  "I'm set to lose my water rights which, in Texas, are very hard to get."

He worries that the Trump White House is rushing to get a piece of the border wall erected so they can have a photo op, and are not thinking of consequences like property values, flooding issues and water rights.

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