As plans are moving forward to build a border wall between Mexico and the United States, we wonder, what about the fence?

A plan for a fence between the two countries began more than a decade ago during President George W. Bush’s administration. At the time, it had the support of many Democrats. The Secure Fence Act, which was signed into law in 2006, set aside money for fencing to cover one-third of the roughly 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico.

Of the 650 miles of fence that were eventually built, just 100 miles of them are in Texas. The uneven course of the Rio Grande, rough terrain and private land ownership created a host of engineering and legal obstacles and required hundreds of deals with individual property owners for some of their land.

And some of those deals with landowners are still on the table because some have successfully resisted the fence for a decade. While the Justice Department said it hasn’t started any cases related to a new wall, it remains committed to settling around 90 cases still pending.

One settlement completed last week was for $137,500 for about 1-1/2 acres near a golf resort near Brownsville. The government didn’t build a fence on the resort but did so on much of the land nearby. It then took nearly a decade to agree on compensation, even though the land was seized under eminent domain.

The law allows the government to seize private property for a public purpose as long as it pays the landowner what the Constitution calls “just compensation,” but that process can take years if a landowner contests the seizure.

“It is exceedingly frustrating to the landowner to have to wait nine years to resolve a case and to have the government come in and take possession of it that long before he receives so much as a single dollar,” said Ken McKay, a lawyer who represented the family partnership that owned the land.

So, here’s the question. If the problems surrounding building a fence along only a portion of the border between the two countries has outlasted a Republican president, a Democrat president and Congress that has been controlled by one party or the other during that span, how tough is it going to be to build a wall?

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports tighter controls on immigration, told The Associated Press that a border wall presents a big problem with hundreds of landowners and lawyers already preparing to fight it.

“It’s going to take longer and end up being more difficult than the president originally thought,” he said.

It’s easy, too often, to hear political promises as easy solutions to problems. Illegal immigration, of course, presents a problem to the nation and the state of Texas, as well as other southern and western states.

But often, too, we see those political promises create as large a problem for the government and the people. If the plan to build a fence has created problems that has not been resolved during times when either party is in power, just what problems are a wall going to create?

President Donald Trump has promised that Mexico will pay for the wall. But we wonder, just who is going finish paying for the fence?

• Dave Mathews

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258; dave.mathews@galvnews.com

(33) comments

Doyle Beard

Dave at one time Hillary and Obama were for the wall but then they saw where they might get some votes so they sold out.

Carlos Ponce

Fence construction was halted by President Obama. The money is still there. Drug smugglers, sex traffickers, coyotes have trails to where the fence isn't.

Doyle Beard

Carlos I agree, but some people just don't get it.

Josh Butler

The wall isn't going to be built, though. Trump has backed way off that promise.

Carlos Ponce

The wall will be built, and Mexico will pay for it. Trump has not backed off that promise.

Jim Forsythe

How much has been spent?
Since 2006, Congress has set aside $2.7 billion for the fence. which they completed 
As part of the Secure Border Initiative Congress approved the $400 million needed to finish the fence, and the Bush administration believes it now has enough money to finish the fence. which they completed  December 16, 2008
The total cost that the Department of Homeland Security had spent  by 2015 was  $3.4 billion  .
What has been built?
As of May 2015, DHS had installed:
353 miles of Primary Pedestrian Fencing.
36 miles of Secondary Fencing. 
14 miles of Tertiary Pedestrian Fencing.
300 miles of Vehicle Fencing.

. Any left over money, is to be used to maintain the fence already built  
Unless the Congress budgets more money, no wall will be built.

Carlos Ponce

The wall will be built, and Mexico will pay for it.

Randy Chapman

Tax the money being sent to Mexico via Western Union and the like at say, 30%. Plenty of money for a wall, and another deterrent to coming here illegally.

Jim Forsythe

"Mexico will pay for it" When is the check arriving? If we place a tariff on goods, we pay for it in higher prices. So how are we going to make them pay? Even it that happens ,it will have to go thru budget  process.
It is estimated that it may take 10 more years to acquire the all rhe land , for the rest of the wall. Without the land , no wall.

Carlos Ponce

Mexico will pay for it.

Jim Forsythe

And this will happen, how? Lay out how!

Carlos Ponce

Don't worry about it Jim. The wheels are already in motion.

Steve Fouga

The wall will never be built, because it won't be built during Trump's presidency, and nobody else want's it.

Just as Carlos predicts the wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it, I predict the Trump presidency will last less than 2 years, when Republicans in Congress oust him to salvage their majorities. Two years isn't enough time to build the wall.

If he somehow survives 4 years, he won't be re-elected, or even nominated by his own party. Four years isn't enough time to build the wall either.

If he manages to be re-elected, and serves the full 8 years Carlos and other conservative participants on this forum feel certain of, the wall still won't be built. Even eight years isn't enough time. Budgeting, engineering and environmental studies, land acquisition, legal battles, etc...

The wall won't be built, and Mexico won't pay for it. [cool]

Carlos Ponce

The wall will be built, and Mexico will pay for it. I want a section of it dedicated to the naysayers. How much of the wall do you want dedicated to you, Steve?

Jim Forsythe

So, it's top secret, and Trump and Carlos has the facts on how it is going to being paid for!
"Trump has more pressing issues, than building a wall."

Carlos Ponce

Not secret. Maybe if you looked at REAL news networks, you would know too! One scenario was proposed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Jim Forsythe

Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act -- you get it? The EL CHAPO Act! -- on Monday. The bill would take any assets that the government would get from prosecuting El Chapo and apply the funds toward building the border wall.   
Where is El Chapo's Money? Mexican Attorney General Admits No One Can Find a Dollar  . Even if they find the money, why would they give it to the USA ? What gives the USA the right to it?

Carlos Ponce

Jim, "El Chapo" has assets in the United States.

Jim Forsythe

May 3rd, 2017
"US authorities have not been able to find any trace of ill-gotten assets belonging to jailed drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, Mexico’s attorney general said on Wednesday..
“As of today, US authorities have not found not even one dollar of El Chapo’s assets,” Mexican Attorney General Raul Cervantes said in an interview with top local broadcaster Televisa 
Mexico has only found minor assets belonging to Guzman, Cervantes said."
So, where is the money? His money hasn’t been found because he didn’t use the financial system,” he added
 



Carlos Ponce

"Mexico has only found minor assets belonging to Guzman, Cervantes said." Yes, only a few million in US dollars. The rest may be in the pockets of corrupt Mexican officials.

In this country it will take legal proceedings since the loot is in the name of "El Chapo's wife and children. See:
"The Rich Kids of the Cartel: Mexico drugs lord El Chapo's blinged-up children show off their fabulous wealth with flash cars, guns, Paris Hilton selfies, and pet lions"
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3168750/The-Rich-Kids-Cartel-Mexico-drugs-lord-El-Chapo-s-blinged-children-fabulous-wealth-flash-cars-guns-Paris-Hilton-selfies-pet-lions.html
"Inside the flamboyant, violent lives of El Chapo’s sons"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/11/inside-the-flamboyant-violent-lives-of-el-chapos-sons/
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where the money is.[whistling]

Jim Forsythe

Chapo’ Guzman, Mexico’s attorney general said on Wednesday.. His money hasn’t been found because he didn’t use the financial system,” 
The wife lives in Mexico and his sons are in Mexico and his money is in ------  ?

If the money is in Mexico , why would Mexico give it to us, to pay for a wall, they said they would not pay for.

Carlos Ponce

Like I posted earlier, "In this country it will take legal proceedings since the loot is in the name of "El Chapo's wife and children."

Jim Forsythe

This money is in a USA bank?
As of May 14, 2017 the money has not been found. 
If Ted Cruz wants money seized from drug kingpin El Chapo to pay for Donald Trump's wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, he's going to have to be patient. To date, U.S. authorities have not found any of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's ill-gotten money or assets.

Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to know.Order Act ,was passed when?

Keith Gray

maybe President Trump should put the Clintons in charge of building the wall... they did such a great job in Haiti...[crying]

Steve Fouga

Clintons are irrelevant now. Trump needs a lawyer, not help building his wall.

Keith Gray

Funny, most grown-ups feel the Clintons are the ones needing lawyers... and they didn’t even need the Russians to tell them that.

Steve Fouga

Clintons need lawyers too. This is a discussion about the wall, not the Clintons.

Mike Zeller

Trump has more pressing issues, than building a wall. [beam]

Carlos Ponce

The wall will circumvent drug smuggling and sex trafficking. All issues are pressing. Given a chance Trump will take care of all of them. But unfortunately there are many who want to bring him down. Not just foreign interests, not just Democrats. Some who call themselves Republicans also fit this mold.[sad]

Steve Fouga

It's not unfortunate, Carlos, it's patriotism. Get on board. You could be a patriot too, if you tried!

Carlos Ponce

Patriotism? No. They are doing our enemies' bidding, stalemating Trump's recovery plan with "Russia, Russia, Russia". They are the Benedict Arnolds of today's USA. Putin, ISIS, Kim Jong-un, etc. love them.

Jim Forsythe

As long as a market for drug smuggling and sex trafficking exists, these actives will find replacements. A lot of the sex trade is home grown.

Average victims age is 11 to 14
Approx 80% are women and children bought, sold and imprisoned in the underground sex service industry
Average life span of a victim is reported to be 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD's, malnutrition, overdose or suicide)
The largest group of at-risk children are runaway, thrown away, or homeless American children who use survival sex to acquire food, shelter, clothing, and other things needed to survive on America's streets. According to the National Runaway Switchboard  1.3 million runaway and homeless youth live on America's streets every day. [5,000 die each year] It would not be surprising to learn that the number of children trafficked in the United States is actually much higher than 300,000.

Carlos Ponce

There will still be illegal drugs entering this country and there will still be sex trafficking. But this President is trying to do something about it. Is this the only solution? No. It takes a multi-pronged attempt to stop or at least curtail it. He's doing more than the last president who emptied the prisons because he considered drug dealers "non-violent" even though they were caught with weapons.[innocent]

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