We started this after trying to buy Christmas gifts for our parents and simultaneously seeing what Cards Against Humanity had done. So we made the (significantly intoxicated) decision to purchase land in Texas. After several thousand dollars in legal fees and hours wading through Texan accents, here we are. Now you can participate in the revolution. Yeehaw.
No, only prayers can do that. Prayers or a belief that our elected officials won’t squander our tax money on something so moronic. So basically, prayers.
Its possible that Trump could pass legislation that would override the typical eminent domain process. While this would get challenged immediately in court, its a possibility. If they proceed the correct way with eminent domain condemnations, there are several levers we can pull to make the process as tedious as possible. Some examples:
• Refusing compensation and access to our land for appraisal
• Refusing the first round of appraisals
• Electing to have a jury make the land appraisal
• Rejecting said Jury’s appraisal.
• Challenging the governments use of the land as “public use”
• Challenging the seizure on the basis of the Endangered Species Act
• Challenging the seizure on the grounds of water access and grazing rights
At the end of the day, our challenges will most likely lose, BUT they’ll take a long time. A presidential term is only 4 years, and probably shorter if you fire James Comey.
All joking aside, is your strategy legally valid?
You bet. We’re throwing the kitchen sink at this.
Did you know that in 2006 George W Bush tried to build 600 miles of fencing on the border? Well, he obviously didn’t build it. He was too busy in Washington being “the decider”. Anyway, 608 land owners protested the seizure of their land and to date 203 land owners still haven’t settled with the government. Thats 12 years! And they don’t even have their own turtle sanctuary.
Well, first of all no one outside of the White House or ICE knows exactly where the wall will be built. This makes sense, as they wouldn’t want to publicize the exact locations beforehand. However, we’re betting that yes they will attempt to build the wall in western Texas for a number of reasons.
*Reason #1*. It’s huge. Are you telling me you’re going to build a “great wall” to block out Mexico but leave almost 1/3 of our border empty?
*Reason #2*: While it’s not the biggest area for illegal immigration, it still has significant crossings. See this map below. That rickety dink town in the middle of the el desert (sorry to all Del Rio residents), had 258k border patrol arrests last year. Yes, thats not as many as the hotspots in Arizona, but its not exactly something a “comprehensive immigration plan” could ignore.
*Reason #3*: While people claim the “Rio Grande is a natural barrier” thats really not true. Over the last 15 years the weather levels in the river have receded significantly to the point where you can easily wade across if you have reasonably strong calf muscles. In some areas, you can just walk across and barely get your cowboy boots wet. Also, we have to point out that the #1 focal point that the Trump administration says they are focusing on is the “Rio Grande Valley” in southeastern Texas. That name isn’t a coincidence and guess what? The river acts as a “natural barrier” there as well. Just another example of president’s consistency in rhetoric.
There wouldn’t be a difference in approach for us. We’re against the entire project and our land purchases are aimed at being a pain to any government land attorney. Also, if they’re just doing cameras then that isn’t exactly a wall. Hard to call it a wall when its about as impenetrable as a Wal-Mart parking lot. We will make sure to publicize this discrepancy.
No, not at all. That vote would just set the ball in motion for the administration to start their “condemnation proceedings”. If the administration can’t build on a certain piece of land, then they simply won’t. Our goal is to render the wall ineffective and raise the profile of the cause by doing so.
In some isolated situations, they have in the past. The reason they were able to get away with that was because x,y,z. We don’t fit those criteria so would not be a candidate for this type of strategy. Even if they did attempt it, that would be a risky proposition for the government as there is legal precedent to show that more often than not, it backfires.
Well, first we party like its 1999 (when we had rational sensibilities on immigration). After that, our plan is to donate the land to a non-profit in the area that could put the land to good use. The areas that house animals will be donated to an actual conservatory.
No, but we’re the next best thing: a B corporation. The reason we didn’t opt for 501c3 designation (meaning a non-profit that can accept public donations) was purely logistical. On average the IRS takes anywhere from 2 - 12 months to designate an organization a tax-exempt 501c3. The IRS specifically says “ should expect a response within 180 days” (key word being should). We have reason to believe we would be towards the later end of this range, because what we’re doing is legally complicated and we would struggle to find comparable non-profit models to compare ourselves to. So, we didn’t think it was prudent to run the risk of wasting a year while at any moment we could be a month away from the wall being built. When the wall will get built and when Congress will allocate funding to it is anyones guess. Our main concern is being able to do something. There is also the overhanging question of whether we would get rejected entirely because of the political nature of what we’re doing. That means we might get re-classified as a 527 or 501c4, which has some gross consequences such as requirements to publicly disclose the personal information of anyone who purchases land.
Whats a B corp?
A B is a specific designation for “social enterprises” and are required to have social mission goals in their founding charter. You can read more here.
They were our inspiration and our heroes. Our only critique is that 1 owner means 1 legal motion to block. Also, their trebuchet isn’t as cost effective (in gold, but not wood) as a battering ram. You can also hide men-at-arms inside of them.
Yes, we actually are. Well, in Texas we are. We thought it was hilarious that Texas allows you to incorporate with virtually any name.
We'd love to buy more land and are actively courting more sellers. If we get the word out, and we receive support then yes we'll buy as much land as we can. This is just the start.
No, not really. In the Rio Grande Valley (200 miles south of our land) they have started reinforcing the existing fencing and in some areas it does resemble closer to a wall. That's what the $1.5B allocated to "border security" in April went to.
Aw, we like you too. Share on Facebook, Twitter, and tell your friends! We also accept volunteers if you have some extra hours and want to lend a hand.
Depending on the lot, you’re either buying a title to a micro plot of land or shares in an TIC that owns the land. Different counties have different restrictions on the minimum size of a sellable plot of land. Either way you'll get a deed to your section of land.
You'll sign a "Tenancy-In-Common Agreement" establishing your ownership and a "Memorandum of Understanding" that clarifies who (us) will be in charge of representing the land
The money breaks down roughly like this:
50% Legal fund for litigation
20% Landowner education
15% Actual cost of land
15% Operations & overhead
(1) Quitclaim Deed for your section of land
(2) Copies of your TIC agreement
(3) A foldable map with an x drawn exactly where your plot is
(4) A small booklet explaining what we're doing in detail
(5) Some random stickers & swag
Yes, you sure can. Just make sure to include your international address so we can get your details on the TIC agreement correct.
Just message us if this is the case.
Yes, absolutely. Just mark it as a "Gift" during checkout and indicate if you want the ownership package to come to you OR the gift recipient.
Post Purchase Questions
Yes, absolutely. Just remember t wear sunscreen and share the photos with us!
Theoretically, yes. We're not sure who would be interested in buying it secondhand though. Message us if this a route you want to take.
No. If/when the wall process starts, we will contact you to let you know. It will be up to you if you want to participate, otherwise we’ll represent your interests. When you become a buyer, you’ll sign off on designating our attorneys as your legal custodian.
Nope. We'll cover all the taxes & fees for perpetuity.