On Wednesday, Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) introduced the This Land Is Our Land Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Department of Defense from constructing any new border barriers, including walls or fences, on federal land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior.
The bill would also prohibit the administration from using eminent domain to force construction of a border barrier on private property, and it would clarify that Defense Department funds could not be used under a “national emergency” for constructing a barrier of any kind on the southern border.
“Communities in South Texas need bold investments in flood mitigation, resiliency, and drainage infrastructure, not a wall that would increase the chances of future devastation, encroach on private property rights, endanger public lands and wildlife, and fail to secure our borders,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I am proud to join Congressman Espaillat in supporting the This Land is Our Land Act. Let’s put a stop to the president’s wasteful project and pursue pragmatic solutions to protect our communities, our land, and our rights.”
“Since his inauguration, President Trump has subjected Congress, federal employees and, most importantly, the American people to uncertainty and harm in pursuit of an unnecessary wall along the southern border,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “The President’s wall is nothing more than an ill-conceived campaign tactic and a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. That is why we are introducing an updated version of this legislation that I authored in the previous Congress, to prohibit a border wall from being built through executive action without the approval of Congress.”
Additionally, the This Land Is Our Land Act would prevent the use of eminent domain for construction of a barrier on the Southern border, and it would make it illegal for agencies to commence construction of such a barrier during a declared national emergency.