WASHINGTON (CN) – Texas border towns have filed a constitutional challenge to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, saying the federal agency is riding roughshod over border-area residents, demanding private land and moving to demolish buildings and destroy crops in order to build a wall along the border.
The Texas Border Coalition challenges DHS actions in the 70 miles of the international border from Brownsville north. Coalition members include cities, counties, Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Commissions.
Plaintiffs claim the DHS has illegally demanded that property owners immediately waive their property rights for 6 months, and threatened to sue those who did not. They claim Congress ordered the DHS to negotiate in good faith with the property owners, but it is not doing so.
Plaintiffs include the cities and groups in Brownsville, Harlingen, Mercedes, Progreso, McAllen, Rio Grande City and McAllen. They demand an injunction, corrective action and costs.
They are represented by Peter Schey and Carlos Holguin with the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles, and Jim Tom Haynes in Washington.