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Trump Hopes to Acquire Land for Border Wall

Border residents say the Trump administration is using the pandemic to survey and potentially seize their property

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

President Trump is hoping to use the coronavirus pandemic expedite construction of the wall on the southern border, The New York Times reports. The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to seize private property for the border wall and surveying property while the owners are locked indoors. 

The government has filed a series of lawsuits against landowners in South Texas to survey, seize and potentially begin construction on private property. Trump previously promised to build 450 miles of wall by the end of the year, which he reduced to 400 miles on Thursday. Less than 200 of those miles have been built so far. There are 213 miles of private property along the border and the Trump administration has only acquired 10 of them.

Trump also argued on Thursday that the border wall would protect the U.S. from Mexico, which he said was having a very hard time with the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. has the highest number of deaths related to coronavirus globally. The New York Times

President Trump is hoping to meet with his Mexican counterpart, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, for the first time in July. It would constitute Lopez Obrador’s first trip abroad, but it would be dependent on the public health situation. The Mexican president has aided Trump in his immigration crackdown by instituting tough measures on migrants coming from Central America and allowing asylum seekers to wait for their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico. Dallas Morning News

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