Expropriation is the act of a government claiming privately owned property against the wishes of the owners, ostensibly to be used for the benefit of the overall public. In the United States, properties are most often expropriated in order to build highways, railroads, airports, or other infrastructure projects. The property owner must be paid for the seizure since the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that private property cannot be expropriated for public use without just compensation.
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