09:42 PM

For Immediate Release

House Democrats Introduce Bills to Restore the Rule of Law and Protect Landowner Rights in Border Fight

WASHINGTON (February 15, 2019) – House Democrats have introduced three bills to the Committee on Homeland Security that will protect the rights of homeowners along the border from eminent domain land seizure in the fight for border construction. The three bills are:

  • The Rescinding DHS’ Waiver Authority for Barriers Act, introduced by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Committee’s Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Subcommittee, will take away overly broad authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally waive “all legal requirements” to construct barriers along the border.
  • The Borderland Takings Defense Fund Act, introduced by Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), will direct the Department of Homeland Security to set up a $20 million fund for legal services for low-income landowners whose property the federal government wants to take for barrier construction.
  • The Preventing the Taking of Americans’ Land to Build Trump’s Wall Act, introduced by Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), will ensure that landowners are fully and properly compensated before the Trump administration seizes their land to build the president’s wall.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:

“We commend Chairwoman Rice for standing up for the rule of law along the border. We also support bills by Reps. Demings and Vela to ensure basic fairness for Americans whose property is being abruptly seized for wall construction. With the declaration of a national emergency by our president, it is more important than ever that Congress reject this abuse of power and fight for the rights of the American people.”

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.