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Court allows feds to seize private property along border wall after Biden vowed end to effort

"We're not going to confiscate the land," Biden said in August.

Updated: April 16, 2021 - 3:58pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Biden vowed during his president campaign to stop taking private land to continue to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall, a signature initiative for former President Trump. However, the U.S. government, as a result of federal court ruling this week, was allowed to seize roughly six acres of land from a family in south Texas, by the Rio Grande River.

The Biden administration never withdrew from the case nor asked that it be dismissed, according to documents and interviews. Administration officials said they didn’t do so because they are still reviewing federal resources used to build the wall, according to Politico. The review, under a 60-day pause Biden ordered his first day in office, was supposed to be completed by March 20.

"End. Stop. Done. Over. Not going to do it," Biden said in August. "Withdraw the lawsuits. We're out. We're not going to confiscate the land."  

Reynaldo Anzaldua Cavazos, a member of the family whose land was recently seized, told The Washington Post: "We took him at his word. He is not keeping that word."

The family says the property has been in its possession since1760s, acquired by ancestors through a Spanish land grant.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ruled Tuesday the federal government could take the land and is "entitled to immediate possession of the subject property," citing an "urgency of possession."

The Justice Department last month said Biden's wording about the three-month pause "left open the possibility that some aspects of the project may resume."