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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