President Donald Trump has faced numerous potential barriers to building a border wall between the U.S and Mexico, including a historic church and a butterfly preserve. Now there’s another potential obstacle to add to that list: Elon Musk. The New York Times reported Wednesday that a portion of the proposed border wall would cut through a tract belonging to Musk’s SpaceX company’s South Texas launch site.
Mitchell Ferman from the McAllen Monitor, who reported the story along with the Times’ Ron Nixon, says SpaceX is currently building its complex in Boca Chica Village, a small community near Brownsville. Ferman says SpaceX, along with other local property owners in the area, recently received notices from the Department of Homeland Security about its intent to survey their land. But Ferman says it’s not clear how much of the proposed wall could cut through SpaceX’s property, and the Trump administration has yet to secure funding for the project.
“It’s unknown how much, exactly, would cut through at this moment, but the fact that Homeland Security is surveying that area is interesting,” Ferman says.
Musk has made headlines recently, in part, because of his comments on Twitter, but Ferman says he’s been quiet on this matter. Only a SpaceX spokesman would comment.
“We talked to a SpaceX spokesman … [who said] ‘We’ve received the request and we’re kind of evaluating how we’re gonna respond,'” Ferman says.
The spokesman told Ferman that SpaceX is communication with Homeland Security, but didn’t say anything more about how it will respond to the notice.
Ferman says the law of eminent domain means the government could still take over the land, but he also says that would spur many lawsuits.
“When there was a border wall constructed stemming from the end of President Bush’s tenure, there are still roughly 80 outstanding lawsuits from 2008,” Ferman says. “So, expect plenty of litigation from this go-around as well.”
Written by Caroline Covington.