Surveyors Seen on Private Property without Permission

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UPDATE (12/4): U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to CHANNEL 5 NEWS regarding the government land surveyors on private property. 

The agency sent a statement that reads in part: 

"The contract for this project, referred to by CBP as RGV-03, was awarded on October 31, 2018, and construction is scheduled to begin in February 2019."

The statement goes on to say that the project will include structures on the concrete levee wall, 18-foot steel ballard on top of the concrete wall and vegetation removal. 

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MISSION – Surveyors were seen on private property without permission in Mission.

Employees of the National Butterfly Center were told to document those who step on their land without permission and faced this issue for a second time – one employee even showed us how a gate was left open.

KRGV’s Angelo Vargas asked the surveyors about the purpose of their visit. They redirected us to speak with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

National Butterfly Center director Mariana Trevino-Wright explains animals will not be seen on the property due to the land surveyors.

“The birds that you might find here during migration are not here now. They already made their way south. Even many of our species that are residential species have moved south for the winter,” she explains. “For example, MDS came on the property this morning without checking in, without notifying us and their work crew just jumped the locked gate or went through the fence onto marked private property to conduct the survey.”

Trevino says the land surveyors put wooden stakes across the south end of the center, which is believed to be the outline for the border wall.

Attorney Pete Diaz IV explains the government will request right of entry with the intent to exercise eminent domain. He sent a statement which reads:

“At the initiation of the condemnation process, a governing authority will typically request a right of entry onto property to which it intends to exercise its power of eminent domain. Based on our discussion today, it appears that the government is simply seeking a right of entry onto the prospective property where it intends to place the border wall in order to obtain surveys, appraisals, run environmental tests and do any other investigatory work stated in the request. A landowner should review any request for entry to determine the activities which the government intends to do on their property. After that initial process, the government may proceed with its condemnation power wherein it must prove that they have authority to condemn the subject property and provide fair and just compensation for the taking… If a landowner does not agree to the right of entry, and does not execute entry documents requested by the government, the government may then file a declaration in order to obtain a judicial ruling allowing for entry onto the property to conduct its studies." 

Watch the video above for the full story.

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