McAllen Mayor Jim Darling reports that 167 landowners in Hidalgo County have received condemnation notices from the federal government. The notices arrived as Customs and Border Protection personnel informed South Texas officials from cities, counties, and foreign trade zones along the border that the federal government is moving forward with private land seizures in the Rio Grande Valley in order to build sections of the border wall. Darling insisted the federal government be held to the same standard it holds cities and counties to when they use federal funds to acquire land. “Under federal law, when we take property, we always have to pay relocation damages for the remainder,” he said. “It’s really weird: When we use federal money, it can delay projects for about a year for environmental impact (studies). The federal government says, ‘Oh, we don’t have to do that.’”
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