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Lesson Plan December 14, 2017

Land Rights and Eminent Domain on the United States-Mexico Border


  1. What is the history of eminent domain law and policy in the United States?
  2. What was the rationale for building a border fence and how did this idea become federal policy?
  3. What legal and policy decisions allowed Homeland Security to sidestep federal regulations and best practices?
    • What did the agency do instead?
    • What impact did this have on border area landowners in the Rio Grande Valley?
  4. Why do water rights matter in this story?
  5. Why did some people accept the federal government’s initial offer and why did some reject it?
  6. Why did people who retained lawyers end up with larger offers for their property?
  7. How does this story connect to the current administration’s border wall policy?
    • Based on what you learned today, do you think the federal government should proceed with building the fence, build a wall, or come up with a different strategy to prevent undocumented people from crossing the United States-Mexico border?

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Land Rights

Land Rights