Tuesday’s ruling from Judge Micaela Alvarez of the Texas Southern District Court was a blow to the Cavazos household, who for years have been preventing to maintain the land that is been handed down for generations.

“We’re hardworking Hispanic landowners. To my family, you can offer whatever, it’s more important for them to save their land,” Baudilia “Lilly” Cavazos Rodriguez, one among three siblings, two of whom stay on the property in Hidalgo County, informed NCS. The acquisition course of began no less than by April 2018.

Generally, the federal government is allowed to amass privately owned land for public use, in any other case often known as eminent area. Border boundaries constructed beneath earlier administrations have largely gone up in areas the place land was federally owned, however extending the wall, as former President Donald Trump pledged to, required taking privately owned land. Under the Trump administration, officers moved at a faster rate to acquire land.

The federal authorities, which filed the movement for possession in 2020, sought “to construct, install, operate, and maintain roads, fencing, vehicle barriers, security lighting, cameras, sensors, and related structures designed to help secure the United States/Mexico border within the State of Texas,” based on the order.

With Biden’s election, Cavazos Rodriguez thought the case would be dropped.

In one among his first actions as President, Biden ordered a pause on wall construction and known as for a overview of initiatives and funds.

“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security,” the proclamation reads.

DOJ shocked by ruling

The Justice Department appeared shocked by the ruling and timing.

In February, the Justice Department requested the Texas Southern District Court for a continuance within the Cavazos case, citing Biden’s proclamation. Judge Alvarez prolonged the case into April.

“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,” a Justice Department official mentioned in a press release to NCS. “Immediately before yesterday’s court hearing, which had been reset from February 16 to April 13 due to the proclamation, the judge granted the Department’s motion for possession that was originally filed in 2020.”

Customs and Border Protection, in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers, suspended wall construction initiatives “except for activities that are safety related,” based on the company.

Cavazos Rodriguez, who voted for Biden, mentioned she feels betrayed with the newest ruling to grab her household’s land. The roughly 70 acres belonging to the Cavazos household maintain sentimental worth and supply for the household’s livelihood. The household rents out a few of the property, serving as a supply of earnings for her siblings.

“[Biden] did say, not one more foot. And then with this going on, with them taking possession, they can do whatever they want now,” Cavazos Rodriguez mentioned.

Eminent area circumstances can be prolonged — starting from months to years — although they typically do not maintain the company from having the ability to proceed with construction. Landowners are sometimes preventing for what is named simply compensation — what they deem a good value for their property.

“The fight against the wall in Texas is NOT OVER. 140 lawsuits are still active; the Cavazos are just one. Now this family is at the mercy of a government that is continuing the Trump-Biden border wall,” the Texas Civil Rights Project, which is representing the household, said in a tweet Tuesday.

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Sources