Things That Matter

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

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.

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.

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.

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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Even Though He Couldn’t Cross The Border, This Abuelo Sang ‘Las Mañanitas’ To His Grandson From Across The Rio Grande

Things That Matter

Even Though He Couldn’t Cross The Border, This Abuelo Sang ‘Las Mañanitas’ To His Grandson From Across The Rio Grande

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been overwhelmed with stories about people being kept apart by the virus. But despite the challenges that so many of us have faced during this pandemic, we find a way to make things work. And that’s exactly what this grandfather (who lives near the U.S-Mexico border) did to make sure that we was able to spend time with his grandson as he celebrated his 4th birthday.

Thanks to travel restrictions they couldn’t be together but they found a way to celebrate.

A heartwarming video is trending on Mexican social media showing a grandfather making his way to the U.S.-Mexico border to wish his four-year-old grandson a happy birthday. Although they couldn’t be together because of travel restrictions thanks to COVID-19, the grandfather managed to sing the traditional Mexican birthday song Las Mañanitas to his grandson, who listened from the other side of the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

The user who uploaded the video to YouTube identified the man as Isidro González and his grandson as Santiago.

With microphone, keyboard and speakers in Eagle Pass, Texas, Grandpa asks about his grandson. “Santiago, where are you? He raises his hand” and the video shows Santi. “I love you. I love you very much ”, you can hear the grandfather shouting and the grandson replies that he does too.

“Congratulations, Santiago. He is turning 4 years old ”, says the grandfather and the singing begins.

For many families residing in Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, the pandemic restrictions imposed by the United States have meant they cannot cross the border to see family. González did not let that stop him from wishing his grandson a very happy birthday.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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