The federal government is exercising eminent domain along the Mexican border in Arizona to buy property for a fraction of what it is worth. Landowners in Santa Cruz County are not happy about the arrangement.
“A man’s home is his castle,” said Tony Sedgwick. “We’ve owned that since the 1950s.” Sedgwick is the co-owner and manager of Carmencita Ranch. Thanks to eminent domain, he is losing a piece of the ranch. “They have taken the choicest part of my land,” he said.
The piece the feds selected is a scenic spot atop a high hill, the perfect place to put a border patrol surveillance tower. Although the Department of Homeland Security has only installed a mobile tower so far, there’s a chance that a permanent one could soon take its place.
“If your neighbor had lights shining on your property, you would call police,” Sedgwick said. “Who do I call? They are the police.”
One property owner says the U.S. government is offering her $3,000 for 2 acres. She says that each one of her acres is worth at least $10,000 by itself.
“It’s a terrible deal,” said Sedgwick.
Still, there’s not much property owners can do. Sedgwick says it would cost him almost $60,000 in legal fees to fight the forced land sale. After spending all that money, there’s still no guarantee he would win, KGUN 9 reported.
“What is not fair is that we don't have a voice in all this,” said Sedgwick. “It’s very difficult to go against the U.S. government.” said Sedgwick.
A video about the story is below: