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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Texas group sues to stop construction of border fence

    May 16, 2008, 12:12PM
    Texas group sues to stop construction of border fence

    Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON -- Nineteen Texas border communities stretching from Brownsville to El Paso today asked a federal court to force the Bush administration to abandon hurry-up construction of 70 miles of border fencing in Texas by the end of the year.

    The federal class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the Texas Border Coalition will be followed within days by a formal request for a temporary restraining order to block land seizures and fence construction by the Department of Homeland Security, the lawyer filing the suit said.

    Peter Schey, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said legal action on behalf of Texas authorities was designed to force federal officials to restart a protracted year-long process that has been under way to obtain legal access to survey property owners' land as a first step toward federal purchase.

    A total of 670 miles of physical barriers and high tech virtual fencing are scheduled to be completed along the 1,972-mile U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year.

    Schey accused Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff of ''lawless conduct'' for allegedly failing to negotiate a ''reasonable price'' for taking property; failing to notify landowners of their rights and for exempting some wealthy landowners from having the fence built across their land.

    Laura Keehner, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, rejected the allegations contained in the 19-page lawsuit.

    ''We've nearly bent over backward to work with landowners,'' Keehner said in a statement. ''Accusations to the contrary are either ill-informed or just plain wrong.''

    The DHS official cited year-long discussions with state and local officials and landowners ''about the placement of fencing,'' contacts with more than 600 different landowners, dozens of town hall meetings and hundreds of letters to landowners.

    Chad Foster, mayor of Eagle Pass and the chairman of the Texas Border Coalition, said a fence was not needed to secure a border marked by the Rio Grande. Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada said widening the flow of the river to impede illegal immigration would be more cost-effective, adding that federal officials appeared ''determined to build a wall to appease mid-America.''

    The legal challenge is the latest high-profile effort to prevent construction of the fence. The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing a request by environmentalists and members of Congress to intervene in a case challenging Chertoff's constitutional authority to waive compliance with three dozen federal laws in order to speed construction of the barriers.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    TEXAS - The Lone Star State
    this peter schey idiot was on the terry anderson "most horriblest clown of the week" a couple of weeks ago

  3. #3
    Senior Member tencz57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    This attorney Peter Whatever will make a fortune on this class action suit.
    How many Millions where set aside for just this ? I'm thinking $25 Million from that bill last year .
    Nam vet 1967/1970 Skull & Bones can KMA .Bless our Brothers that gave their all ..It also gives me the right to Vote for Chuck Baldwin 2008 POTUS . NOW or never*

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Texas officials sue US over border fence

    Published Friday May 16, 2008
    Texas officials sue US over border fence
    By SUZANNE GAMBOA Associated Press Writer
    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Texas mayors and business leaders filed a class-action lawsuit Friday alleging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hoodwinked landowners into waiving their property rights for construction of a fence along the Mexican border.

    Members of the Texas Border Coalition said Chertoff did not fairly negotiate compensation with landowners for access to their land for six-month surveys to choose fence sites. The coalition of mayors and business and community leaders is seeking an injunction to block work on the fence.

    They also want a federal judge to rescind all the agreements with landowners and to order Chertoff to start again. The department has sought and won access from hundreds of landowners to determine where to build the fence and other barriers to illegal border crossings.

    The coalition's attorney, Peter Schey, said Chertoff violated a 1996 immigration law that requires fair negotiation with landowners.

    The lawsuit also names Robert Janson, director of Asset Management at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as a defendant.

    It was filed with U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, a Bush nominee who presided in the criminal case of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

    "They hoodwinked property owners" into waiving their property rights, Schey said.

    "This whole thing has been built on a foundation of lawlessness," he said.

    Landowners were visited by officials from Homeland Security, Army Corps of Engineers and Customs and Border Patrol. But the government didn't send anyone to advise the owners' of their property rights, Schey said. Some landowners accepted offers of $100 for access to their land.

    The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly denied allegations of unfair negotiations, saying it has bent over backward to work with landowners.

    The agency wants to build about 353 miles of fence by year's end to bring total fencing, walls and barriers to about 670 miles.

    "This is just a delay tactic. I can't imagine this has any merit," said Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura Keehner, who had not yet seen the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also alleges:

    - Chertoff failed to write and make public any regulations or guidelines on negotiation procedure and determining a "reasonable" price for access to property.

    - Chertoff has not written policies on how to consult with landowners about their concerns as required by a 2007 law.

    - Landowners' rights to equal protection under the law were violated because the fence bypasses the property of some well-connected landowners, including Dallas billionaire Ray Hunt and his relatives.

    - The newer law requires Chertoff to build the fence where it is most practical and effective but he continues to build where a 2006 law specified.

    Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada said the mayors are willing to work with Homeland Security to devise alternatives to the border fence.

    "They are determined to build a wall to appease mid-America," Ahumada said. "This is a political problem that's being addressed at the expense of all the border communities."


    On the Net: Texas Border Coalition:

    Homeland Security Department:
    If your ILLEGAL...get out of my country...get out of my state...get out of my community...get out of my face!...otherwise, have a nice day!

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