Biden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report
President Biden’s administration is still seizing land near the U.S.- Mexico border to be used to continue building a wall, according to an investigation by Politico.
The federal government has seized six acres of land in Hidalgo County, Texas, according to the news outlet. The seizure is reportedly part of a court case brought during the Trump administration to build the wall.
The Cavazos family, who are effected by the case, expressed frustration about the Biden administration.
“I’m … very, very disappointed in Joe Biden. I thought he was a man of his word but apparently he’s not keeping his word,” Reynaldo Anzaldua Cavazos, a member of the family, told Politico. “He said not one more foot of wall and no land forfeitures. We took him at his word and we want him to keep his word.”
Biden has condemned former President Trump’s hardline immigration policies, including his promise to deliver on a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The president has also recently ended funding for the wall.
However, a review of government resources going into the project instated by Biden at the start of his presidency has been delayed. The review was supposed to be completed by March 20.
The Department of Justice said it would not end court cases since Biden’s review of Trump’s immigration policies was not complete.
Therefore, the Biden administration did not withdraw or dismiss the case in Hidalgo County, according documents and interviews conducted by Politico.
“DOJ sought continuances in pending cases, including in this case, in which the government had previously filed motions for possession of land on the southwest border in light of President Biden’s proclamation terminating the national emergency at the southern border of the United States and directing ‘a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall,’” a DOJ official told the outlet.
A spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget told Politico that the federal agencies are developing a plan to submit to the president soon.
“Funds had been diverted from military construction and other appropriated purposes toward building the wall, and wall construction was being challenged in multiple lawsuits by groups alleging serious environmental and safety issues” the spokesperson continued.
However, according to the outlet, the White House did not address why the review has been delayed.
Some 114 court cases of a similar nature have progressed in some way since the review’s deadline, according to Politico.
The news comes after Biden has taken heat from both Democrats and Republicans over his handling of an influx of migrants at the border amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hill has reached out to the White House, Department of Justice and Customs and Border Protections for comment.
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