Home News Local News State Land Commissioner Dunn halts ‘border wall’ tract sale

State Land Commissioner Dunn halts ‘border wall’ tract sale

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State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has canceled a planned Dec. 3 auction of State Trust Lands along the U.S.-Mexico border in Doña Ana County.

“I believe that it’s in the best interest of the trust to defer action on this trespass until the new land commissioner has taken office,” Commissioner Dunn announced Wednesday.

Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard, elected in November, will take office in January.

The Land Office has been in a dispute with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection division of the Homeland Security Department about what Dunn calls “blatant trespass and illegal construction” on State Trust Land near the Mexico border. The law enforcement agency is building a portion of the border wall on the 7.28 acres.

Dunn rejected a settlement offer by the agency in August that proffered $8,736 to purchase the tract. Dunn said the amount was far below the $19,200 the Land Office would receive to allow a road and easement on the land during a 35-year lease or the $54,000 it would have generated from a 99-year lease.

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