As a candidate, President Joe Biden decried the southern border wall being constructed under then-President Donald Trump’s administration, vowing to abruptly end it if he were elected. Despite an executive order ostensibly aimed to do just that, recent indicators suggest some aspect of the border wall construction could resume.
The Biden administration has reportedly won a lawsuit allowing authorities to seize private land in Texas along the Rio Grande in apparent efforts to erect a barrier fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Withdraw the lawsuits”
If that occurs, it would seem to contradict a vow he made on the campaign trail against Trump last year.
During an interview with NPR in August, Biden declared that there “will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration.”
As for the specific issue of lawsuits meant to seize private land along the border, the then-candidate was similarly direct, asserting: “End it. End. End. Stop. Done. Over. Not going to do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We’re out. Were not going to confiscate the land.”
On his first day in office, the president signed an executive order halting border wall construction, but reports earlier this month indicated that the Department of Homeland Security was considering plans to quietly resume it in certain areas to fill in gaps and complete unfinished portions.
Despite his earlier promise to “withdraw the lawsuits,” Biden’s Department of Justice reportedly proceeded with one such action against landowners whose family roots in the area predate the border itself. Following a federal judge’s recent decision, the administration has been granted the right to seize their land under the legal concept of eminent domain.
“Entitled to immediate possession”
The Cavazos family fought in court to keep the property along the border since efforts were first made to seize it under former President George W. Bush. A partial compromise was subsequently reached, but the government’s efforts continued through the Trump administration, which filed a new lawsuit in August — just a week after Biden’s remarks in the aforementioned NPR interview.
At issue was a roughly 6.5-acre lot sought by the government for the purpose of constructing a portion of the border wall. Despite Biden’s pledge, the legal fight continued after his inauguration until the decision on Monday by U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who ruled in favor of the government’s motion.
The judge’s 21-page ruling dismissed several motions filed by the family, opting to grant the government’s motions, citing the “urgency” of the situation and determining that the Biden administration was “entitled to immediate possession of the Subject Property.”
Included in her ruling is an order for “all people or entities in possession or control of the Subject Property to surrender possession or control of said property to the extent of the estate being condemned to the United States, immediately.”
Reynaldo Anzaldua Cavazos, whose family is now forced to give up ownership of the land, said that his Biden is not keeping his word on the subject. Furthermore, there are reportedly more than 200 similar lawsuits pending against other private landowners along the border — including at least 140 that remain open and active.
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Author: Ben Marquis
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