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Federal judge orders Texas city to turn over land for US-Mexico border fence

[JURIST] US District Court Judge Alia Moses Ludlum of the Western District of Texas [official website] has ordered the City of Eagle Pass, Texas [official website] to temporarily turn over 233 acres of its land to the federal government so it can begin construction of a 670-mile fence on the border between the US and Mexico. Ludlum's ruling came in response to a lawsuit [AP report] filed by the US Department of Justice against the city Monday. The judge ordered the city to turn over the property by Tuesday. Last week, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] officials said DHS is preparing over 100 court cases [JURIST report] against landowners along the US-Mexico border who have refused to allow construction of the border fence on their properties. AP has more.

US President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 [PDF text; JURIST report] in October 2006. The legislation authorizes the construction of approximately 700 miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile US-Mexican border. Critics of the fence include locals in border communities, who feel that a border fence could interfere with irrigation, harm wildlife, and disrupt Mexican consumers and investors that positively contribute to the local economy. In May 2007, the International Boundary and Water Commission [official website] said that construction of the fence could violate a boundary treaty [JURIST report] between the United States and Mexico.

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