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Between President Trump's Border Wall And The Rio Grande Lies A 'No Man's Land'

NPR's Business Story of the Day

06:57 min | 1 year ago

Between President Trump's Border Wall And The Rio Grande Lies A 'No Man's Land'

"President trump is moving ahead with his border wall yesterday. He signaled that he wants to divert three point eight billion dollars from the Pentagon's budget and set it. Aside for border wall construction that is on top of the eleven billion dollars already planned but down on the border of the project is wreaking havoc for landowners in Texas. It's being built right. Through the middle of many properties leaving thousands of acres in a kind of no man's land between the barriers and the Rio Grande and John Burnett reports this overgrown thorn scrub is the Nether world between the United States and Mexico to the north border fence to the south the muddy meandering Rio Grande. This was Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course on the side of the historic fortification. That gave the city. Its name but with the US government. I started building border. Barriers under President George W. Bush. The entire eighteen hole course ended up on the south side of the fence. Golfers didn't like having to drive through a gate and being walled off from the rest of the city. This spit of land suddenly felt unsafe. None of us come over here. You don't feel protected in any part of the land is south of the wall. Who'll yet Garcia is former president of the University of Texas Brownsville which used to operate the skull course but when the golfers stopped coming it went bankrupt today the clubhouse shuttered and the wants manicured Greens have returned to nature. What used to be a very active place very friendly place for students and far golf team and for Winter Texans has become a deserted sad desolate. No Man's land. President trump has pledged to build more than five hundred miles of new border. Wall out west. It runs along the straight land boundary with Mexico but in Texas that line is the curvy Rio Grande and because of flooding concerns. The Wall is often built some distance away as much as a mile north of the river. The defunct Fort Brown Memorial Golf. Course is a cautionary tale landowners fear. The Wall will effectively sever their acreage from the United States leading. It abandoned lawless and unprofitable so far fifty. Five property owners have gone to court to try to block construction to hear their concerns. I headed West on military highway. First stop is the River Bend Resort and golf club where the owners were planning a major expansion worth. Millions of dollars then came the border wall. The thirty foot wall through the middle of the property kills our project completely kills our project. Jeremy Bernard is part of the family that owns river band. Nearly seven hundred Americans and Canadians from the frigid north moved down here during the winter to enjoy. Short sleeves and Margaritas Bernard Parks his golf cart on the Levy. That overlooks the curved streets. Lined with fancy mobile homes and palm trees. This is where the proposed alignment is from Border Patrol. The problem with that is seventy percent of our property is south of the Levy that includes the REC center the pool tennis courts and fifteen of eighteen holes. All of it would be cut off by the wall. The frustrating thing Bernard says is they rarely see unauthorized immigrants and drug smugglers passing through here. His family is negotiating urgently with customs and Border Protection to move the wall slightly north. So it won't slice their property in half and yet Jeremy Bernard's politics haven't changed he remains loyal to President trump. And I've got friends that disagree with me and they say how could you vote for this man? What his wall wants to tear apart your community. The main thing I tell them look the thought that I'm going to agree. One hundred percent with somebody especially a politician is just outrageous. I just have an issue with the blanket. Let's build a wall everywhere as you continue on military highway urbanized. Brownsville gives way to fields of onions. Cotton and corn here. I find Richard Roy at his farm headquarters leaning on his pickup truck. He's this rich Delta soil all of his life I'm seventy years old and It just it's GonNa ruin my lifestyle here of been living in the country. I've never lived in town and To have that wall. There's just GonNa really disturb me but drawing Nosey can't beat Washington DC so last fall. He reluctantly SOLD THE GOVERNMENT. Aruban of land so they could erect the wall across his crop. Rose like Jeremy Bernard Richard draw supports trump and his all four increasing border security. He just doesn't want the wall in his property. I told him you know this stupid wall is going to have lights on it. It's GONNA be like being in prison while lights and everything and I said You put them lives up on me on my house. You know more. Shoot him out. Of course I have time to calm down. Joy has seen what's happened over the past decade to Riverside land that's isolated by the border wall weeds. Takeover and people are afraid to go there anymore on his farm. He's worried that bad hombres will cross the river from Mexico and threatened his farm hands. He says the wall seeds has property down by the river to Mexico. Like Tola Board. Joe I said look you know goodwill how you build a wall. All agents will done trolling up and down the law. They're never going to go on down to the river anymore. He yield back into the Rio. Grande is the first line of Defense Baloney. You just wait a few years. I shared these misgivings with C. Bp a spokesman responded the Border Patrol will continue to operate on both sides of the barrier to include the riverine environment further. They'll install electric gates with security codes to give landowners access to the south side of the wall. My Westward John. Across the valley terminates at the rustic campground of the Cavazos family. Fred is seventy and in a wheelchair. They were race here. My Dad taught me how to fish. Here OUTTA. Get a shovel and dig worms. He says they run a few cows but the main income is from tenants who built weekend shanties along the water's edge. A lot of time on boats a lot of own jet skis so they come down with us and sausages Saturdays and Sundays and barbecue. It's a hundred four and five so they feel great where you're out there jet skiing. The government wants to put the wall and a wide patrol zone. Along the north end of their property. Cavazos worries it will drive away. His tenants who may not want to be walled off from the rest of Texas like many large families down here the Cavazos clan is split someone to accept what they think is a generous offer from the government. Nearly four hundred thousand dollars for SIX ACRES BUT COUSIN. Ray who seventy-five wonders what happens? If one day they put the land up for sale. The problem is the devaluation of the property. Nobody wants to buy property. That's on the Riverside of the wall. So this is what the fight is going to be about ray. Infrared are fighting the government in federal court. They want to drag it out until election day hoping that the Democrat wins the White House and halts the border wall

President Trump Rio Grande Border Patrol Jeremy Bernard Government Texas United States Mexico Levy President George W. Bush Fort Brown Memorial Golf Cours Jeremy Bernard Richard Fort Brown Memorial Golf RAY Pentagon River Bend Resort Richard Roy University Of Texas Brownsvill