United States of America v. 15.919 Acres of Land

(More or Less)

This story was co-published with the Texas Tribune.

In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security began building 654 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. To complete the job, the agency had to seize land from private landowners, most living in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. A decade later, some landowners have yet to reach agreement with Homeland Security on the amount they are due for the land they have lost. This is the story of one such case.


Susie Cagle is a journalist and illustrator based in California. For the last ten years she has written and drawn about domestic civil unrest, natural disasters, the housing crisis, and Silicon Valley. Her work has been awarded with honors by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association. She was a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford.