As the US shut down, Trump’s legal fight to build wall ramped up

first_imgIn the past 12 months, the administration opened 41 cases in federal court to seize land to build a wall along the southern border of Texas. Nearly half of those cases – 16, or 39 percent – were filed in the past two months.The bulk of the new filings came in March, when the administration opened 12 cases, the most in any month under Trump, a Reuters review of federal filings found. The administration wants immediate possession, bypassing traditional procedural steps and forcing landowners to move more swiftly, records show.Advocates for the landowners say the administration is choosing a bad time to get more aggressive, forcing landowners to choose between leaving their home to fight the case or lose their property. Also, a successful defense can be expensive, requiring paid experts, lawyers and other professionals at a time the US economy is shedding a record number of jobs.”The timing, on a human level, is very bad,” said David Donatti, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Texas who represents a family fighting government seizure of their property. Even as the Trump administration was struggling to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, it was ramping up efforts to seize land along US southern border to build a wall and fulfill a major campaign promise, a Reuters review of federal court records shows.Donald Trump made building the wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign, but those efforts have been plagued by delays and false promises. Late last year, the administration got more aggressive, pledging to use the federal courts to seize large swaths of private land, mostly in Texas.While most of the US has been slowed by the COVID-19 crisis – which has infected more than 635,000 people and killed at least 31,000 more – Trump’s efforts to construct a southern border wall has only gained steam. Nayda Alvarez, a 49-year-old public school teacher, was served court papers in March. She and her extended family – including her elderly father who suffers from several health issues – live on 2.4-hectare ranch along the Rio Grande river that the administration wants to take immediately.”It’s very scary. My hands are tied because we are quarantined and fighting the federal government, literally,” said Alverez, who is working with the ACLU and another group, the Texas Civil Rights Project, in her defense.She was preparing to go to federal court on Tuesday, donning a mask and gloves, but her lawyers were able to delay the hearing until June.Unlike in other states, most of the US borderland in Texas is privately owned, which has delayed wall construction by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Federal lawyers have had to comb property records, track down landowners, make offers to buy the land and — if owners refuse to sell — file lawsuits to seize the land.The White House did not respond to requests for comments for this story.In recent weeks, Trump has made the case that the global pandemic only proves the need for stronger borders. On March 12, he retweeted a follower’s commentary linking the health scare to the need for strong borders and added “We need the Wall more than ever!”Topics :last_img read more


first_imgRACE IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR CAL-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS ARCADIA, Calif. (May 28, 2106)–Nick Alexander’s homebred Enola Gray, a runaway first-out maiden winner sprinting here on April 10, made short work of her competition as she stretched out to   1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita, winning in dominating gate to wire fashion by 2 ¼ lengths under Tyler Baze. Trained by Phil D’Amato, the 3-year-old filly by Grazen out of the More Than Ready mare Unsung Heroine, covered the distance in a solid 1:42.64.“Today it was about seeing if she could go a mile and a sixteenth and it was about getting her out there, getting her to relax and take some breaths,” said Baze. “She did. She learns so fast and she only continues to get better. She’s mature but she’s still got a lot to learn. She’ll only get better. She’s a petite filly and I’m really excited about seeing what she could become.”With a staggering $346,016 bet to show on her ($388,932 was the total show pool), Enola Gray was the 1-9 favorite in a field of six sophomore fillies bred or sired in California and she paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10.Now undefeated in two starts, Enola Gray picked up $110,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $143,600.“I was extremely nervous this morning, but this shows me that she can overcome some adversity. I’m quite relieved. Phil and I were both (trying to decide) between running her at six or seven furlongs after her maiden win, but she was coughing a lot on the morning we were going to enter, so we waited and ran here.”Ridden by Joe Talamo, Allsquare sat second the entire trip and outran Cheekaboo the final quarter mile to be second by 4 ¼ lengths. Off at 29-1, Allsquare paid $7.60 and $5.00.Cheekaboo, who loomed boldly three-wide at the top of the stretch, proved third-best under Rafael Bejarano. Off at 7-1, she paid $2.60 to show.Fractions, all set by the winner, were 23.97, 47.72, 1:11.88 and 1:36.26.last_img read more


first_imgGRAZEN SKY:  Idle since running a close second to Solid Wager in the Cary Grant Stakes on Nov. 20 at Del Mar, this Nick Alexander homebred enters the Tiznow fresh and dangerous as he seeks his second career stakes win.  A good third three starts back in the one mile Harry F. Brubaker on Aug. 24, he’s 7-1-3-1 at the Tiznow distance and is another who would benefit from a hot early pace.  A 5-year-old horse by Grazen, he is 19-4-8-4 overall with earnings of $392,638. SOLID WAGER:  A 1 ¼ length dead heat winner of the Grade III Midnight Lute over a sloppy track two starts back on Dec. 31, this 6-year-old Birdonthewire gelding comes off a fifth place finish here in the six furlong California Cup Sprint on Jan. 28.  A dedicated closer at any distance, he would benefit greatly should there be a fast pace going one mile–a distance that he’s winless at in 10 attempts.  Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber and Stanford Stable, Solid Wager is 32-8-3-4 overall with earnings of $472,921.  He’ll be reunited with Victor Espinoza, who piloted him to back to back wins in the seven furlong Cary Grant Stakes three starts back on Nov. 20, and the aforementioned Midnight Lute. Indygo Holiday–Martin Pedroza – 120Magic Mark–Joe Talamo–122Patriots Rule–Israel Ocampo–122Solid Wager–Victor Espinoza–120Acceptance–Stewart Elliott–120Grazen Sky–Tyler Baze–120Avanti Bello–Flavien Prat – 122 MAGIC MARK:  Owned by his breeders, John and Dorine Lanza, Magic Mark’s last win came four starts back at Del Mar in the one mile Harry F. Brubaker Stakes on Aug. 24.  A gate to wire winner of the Brubaker, Magic Mark’s best races have come when he’s on or pressing the early pace.  With four wins from eight tries at the Tiznow distance, he’s 19-6-1-3 overall and will be ridden by Joe Talamo, who although he hasn’t ridden the veteran gelding since February, 2015, has guided him to four career wins. ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2017)–Trainer Peter Miller’s recent graded stakes winning Solid Wager heads a wide open field of seven in Sunday’s $100,000 Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita.  For older horses bred or sired in California, the Tiznow, which is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, will be contested at a flat mile.  Steve Miyadi’s Grazen Sky and Ron Ellis’ Magic Mark are among several who also figure prominently in Sunday’s main event.Named for one of the greatest California-breds of all time, the Cee Straub-Rubens homebred Hall of Famer Tiznow, a foal of 1997, was a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Horse of the Year in 2000 and was a three-time Eclipse Award winner who retired with earnings of $6,427,830.center_img THE $100,000 TIZNOW STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 9 – Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT NAMED IN HONOR OF TWO-TIME BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC WINNER, TIZNOW STAKES IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.  For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit read more