March 20, 2017 Article

Environmental and Eminent Domain Impediments to a “Great, Great” Border Wall

An overview of potential legal considerations of President Trump's controversial order.

by Lauren A. Ferrigni

On January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order purporting to effectuate promises made during his campaign to prioritize border security through the construction of a physical barrier. More specifically, the order directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Gen. John F. Kelly (Ret.), to “immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall” along our southern border. Exec. Order No. 13767, 82 Fed. Reg. 8793 (Jan. 25, 2017). Irrespective of the socio-economic and political arguments, pro and con, the erection of a border wall poses novel environmental and eminent domain legal questions, the answers to which could affect the feasibility of the development that the order envisions.

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