SANTA FE - New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is proposing a federal land swap in order to make room for President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.

In a letter to Trump signed Wednesday, Dunn proposed to swap state surface and mineral estate rights within three miles or less of the U.S.-Mexico border for what he called “more desirable” land in Chaves, Lincoln and Otero counties.

Dunn’s office said that if the Trump administration refuses the swap offer, the federal government will have to pay New Mexico $3 million for an easement to construct the wall on state land.

Last month, Trump signed an executive order demanding the immediate construction of a wall across nearly 2,000 miles of the border. The federal government needs to own all land within a few miles of the border for construction.

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