The Taking

Inside the federal government's haphazard, decade-long process of seizing private land for a border fence.

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Godfrey Garza, the former general manager of Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1, made more than $3.5 million in commissions on a South Texas border fence project that was largely bankrolled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The county is now suing him, claiming he should not have received a commission on the federal money — and that he should have disclosed that project contractors hired his children's company to work on the project.
 Courtesy The Monitor

How a South Texas bureaucrat became a multimillionaire amid the rush to build a border fence

A decade ago as the federal government rushed to construct 60 miles of barrier in the Rio Grande Valley, it entrusted the chief of a little-known local agency to execute a compromise project. What it didn’t know was that he — and his family — stood to make millions from it.

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Juan Cavazos at his home on Oklahoma Avenue in Brownsville, Texas. The federal government took part of the former teacher's land to build the border fence. 
 Martin do Nascimento for The Texas Tribune

El gobierno federal abusó de su poder para apoderarse de propiedades y construir una cerca fronteriza

Hace una década, muchos residentes de la frontera en el estado de Texas recibieron tratos injustos, mientras que otros aumentaron significativamente la oferta, cuando el gobierno federal exigió la venta de propiedades privadas para construir una cerca, según descubrió una investigación de The Texas Tribune y ProPublica. A medida que la administración de Trump sigue presionando para la construcción de un muro fronterizo, ¿se repetirá el proceso apresurado y caótico del gobierno?

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