Point of Beginning

Surveyors assess property in advance of fence construction

April 23, 2008
The proposed border fence in Texas puts federal surveyors in the middle of a fight between the federal courts and land owners.
 


April 22, 2008 - 6:49PM

Kevin Sieff (The Brownsville Herald)
 
BROWNSVILLE - Federal surveyors conducted one of their final environmental assessments along the proposed path of the border fence on Tuesday afternoon.
 
This time, they assessed the property of one of the fence's most vocal opponents - Eloisa Tamez, a professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, stuck in a courtroom battle with the federal government.
 
Federal attorneys sued Tamez in January over access to her land in El Calaboz, about 12 miles west of Brownsville. She responded by filing a countersuit, alleging the federal government failed to follow relevant laws in condemning her land.
 
The subsequent legal tug-of-war lasted more than two months, until U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered Tamez earlier this month to allow surveyors onto her land - an action to which she begrudgingly complied Tuesday.
 
"I asked what their objective was, what they were planning to do...and what the next step will be," Tamez said.