things that matter

They Supported Trump And Now The Government Could Seize Their Property To Build The Wall

CNN

Ten years ago, during the George W. Bush administration, the Loop family was forced to give up rights to part of their land so the government could build a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border. “I was very angry,” D’Ann Loop told CNN. “How can they do that? How is that possible in the United States that they can do this? Put up a fence in front of our land and keep us in here?”

After the construction of the wall, the Loop family found themselves on the Mexican side. They were now separated from rest of the United States.

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CNN

The family dealt with this inconvenience as best they could until one night when a fire ripped through their farm. As a result, many of their animals perished in the flames while the fire department struggled to get past the wall to reach the blaze.

Today, Trump supporters in similar situations are expressing their concern that the government may again seize their land to build the wall.

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GOOGLE MAPS / CNN

The word “fight” is common among border-dwelling Trump supporters, who live with the reality that a wall is not the solution. Pat Bell, a Trump supporter, told CNN that she doesn’t believe walls and fences work. Bell lives in Brownsville, Texas, which is just on the opposite side of the U.S.-Mexico border, near Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. If the government had its eyes on her property, Bell says, “I would go to the people that are in charge, and, you hate to say, ‘I would get a lawyer,’ but if it came to that issue, and you had to, you would.”

Many Trump supporting land owners along the border share Bell’s sentiments.

Even if locals resist, the U.S. government can seize land, forcing citizens into legal battles to keep their land.

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CNN

If a land owner doesn’t want to sell their property, the government can use its power of eminent domain to seize privately owned land for public use. In these instances, citizens have few legal options, and they are often “steamrolled” by the government, Norton Colvin, an attorney from Brownsville, told CNN. Those who do receive money, do not receive “fair compensation.” CNN based its findings on research of over “442 lawsuits” from 2006.

So far no residents have been given notice about their land. But as CNN correspondent Drew Griffin told Anderson Cooper, “If history repeats itself, landowners will be forced to sell their property to the government, lose their land, and not be paid what they think that land is worth.”

[H/T] CNN: President Trump vs. American landowners on the border

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NASA Is Sending Their First Cuban-American To The International Space Station

Things That Matter

NASA Is Sending Their First Cuban-American To The International Space Station

NASA Johnson / Flickr

Meet Serena Auñón-Chancellor. She will be the first Cuban-American to make it to space.


Serena Auñón-Chancellor has been tapped to join fellow astronauts at the International Space Station in November of next year. While Auñón-Chancellor won’t be the first Latina to make it to space (Ellen Ochoa has that honor), Auñón-Chancellor will have the designation of being the first Cuban-American to go to space.

According to Martí Noticias, Auñón-Chancellor has been training for this moment for a long time. Academically, she prepared by getting a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, a master’s in public health science, and a doctorate in medicine. Auñón-Chancellor is also the second Latina to be selected as an astronaut for NASA.

Even though she has been an astronaut since 2009, Auñón-Chancellor is still training to make sure she is ready.


And she looks super excited to finally be taking this major step in her career.

Auñón-Chancellor is one of five astronauts that were chosen to take part in different missions scheduled through 2018.


“It’s great to get to announce so many assignments at once,” Chris Cassidy, the chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. “There’s plenty of work to be done at the space station, and the research opportunities are almost limitless. These folks are all going to do great work and bring a lot of value to their crewmates.”

And people are celebrating Auñón-Chancellor’s exciting announcement.


Auñón-Chancellor currently lives in Houston, Texas and is a licensed physician who started her career at NASA as a flight surgeon in 2006. When she was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, she assisted with medical operation in Russia for nine months.

Looks like more and more Latinxs are going to be representing up in space.


Congrats, Auñón-Chancellor.


READ: The First Latina In Space Wants To Use Her Experience To Produce More STEM Graduates

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