Texas Landowners Sue Over Border Wall Plans
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
President Trump's state of emergency is facing several legal challenges already. And among the first to file a lawsuit were landowners in Texas.
NAYDA ALVAREZ: This week has been one of the worst weeks ever.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nayda Alvarez owns a home near the Rio Grande river along the U.S.-Mexico border. A few months ago, she got a letter from the government saying her property is in the path of President Trump's proposed wall. The government could build a wall through her land if it got the funding.
ALVAREZ: I'm talking about, you know, my grandfather's land, my parents'. And my house is at the very back in the corner. It's about 200 feet away from the river. It's very quiet, peaceful. You know, you hear the birds singing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And then President Trump declared a national emergency and got that funding.
ALVAREZ: I mean, I was in shock.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Like Nayda Alvarez, Yvette Gaytan also got a letter from the government last year. Gaytan says she can't imagine uprooting her family. Her property is all paid off, and it would be a huge financial loss. But more than that...
YVETTE GAYTAN: My dad was born actually there and raised there. He never wanted to leave that property. That means everything to me. My dad was everything to me, and I lost him. And now, with the threat of losing that, I feel like I would fail him because my parents - they were migrant workers. They worked their butts off to be able to put that house together for us. It's our heritage.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Both Nayda Alvarez and Yvette Gaytan joined others who could be affected by the proposed wall in their area to file suit in the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia, claiming that Trump exceeded his authority and, according to his own statements, there's no need for that state of emergency.
Alvarez says she doesn't know what else she can do.
ALVAREZ: I feel so incompetent because I can't do anything. My only hope right now is that this lawsuit helps us because, you know, it's our only hope.
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