The Biden administration is still seizing land to build Donald Trump’s border wall despite President Joe Biden’s vow that he would halt construction, Politico reports.
The Justice Department this week seized six acres from a family in Texas’ Hidalgo County.
“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, whose family land was taken, told the outlet. “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.”
The land was seized as a result of a Trump-era court battle involving 140 eminent domain cases in its bid to seize land across the border. Many of the cases are still ongoing.
The DOJ said in a separate eminent domain case that Biden’s proclamation opening a 60-day review into the border wall policy “left open the possibility that some aspects of the project may resume.”
“At this time,” the DOJ added, “the Secretary of Homeland Security has not shed light on the future of the border wall or the road project.”
Review still ongoing:
Biden signed a proclamation on his first day in office launching a review of the federal resources used to build the wall. The review was supposed to end by March 20 but is still ongoing and officials have offered no timeline for its completion. And in the meantime, the eminent domain cases are still pending in courts.
Biden in August vowed that there would be no additional border wall construction or land seizures.
"End. Stop. Done. Over. Not going to do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We're out. We're not going to confiscate the land," he said at the time.
“They can have all the excuses they want but it’s real dicey to look at what they’re doing right now,” a source who consults with the administration on immigration policy told Politico. “It’s a lot of stuff Trump was doing.”
“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 Politico.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that “wall construction remains paused” but the pause was taking place “while agencies are developing a plan for the president on the management of the federal funds.”