The Joe Biden administration will return the land of a Texas family that was confiscated earlier this year for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The Cavazos family has been fighting the federal government for their land in South Texas, which was passed down to them before the Rio Grande River became an international border.
BREAKING: Our client, Eloisa Cavazos, has just had her land returned to her after fighting against the government’s seizure and border wall construction since 2018. pic.twitter.com/26orWHKAFo
— Texas Civil Rights Project (@TXCivilRights) December 7, 2021
On Tuesday, the Texas Civil Rights Project, which represents the family, tweeted that its client Eloisa Cavazos had her land returned “after fighting against the government’s seizure and border wall construction since 2018.”
“Now that we have successfully stopped the construction of a needless and wasteful border wall on their property, Ms. Cavazos and her family will be able to continue their quiet and fulfilling life beside the Rio Grande,” the group added.
Joe Biden returns land to Cavazos family in Texas after it was seized by Donald Trump for border wall | The Independent https://t.co/G91M9bxqEr
— 🗽FOR the PEOPLE – BY THE PEOPLE 🕊🌎🦋🦚🌈🛼 (@TyHyCHI) December 8, 2021
The Cavazos family had fought the Bush and Obama administrations to protect their 6.5-acre property, but when Donald Trump pressed to build a border wall, the court proceedings were put on hold.
They hoped to put an end to a years-long battle under President Biden’s presidency after he committed not to build the wall.
Relieved to hear the right thing is being done here – land should not be seized from Mexican American families in South Texas to build a wall.
— Katherine L. Unmuth (@kunmuth) December 8, 2021
A federal judge ordered in April that the administration may seize their property “immediately.”
Months later, after reaching an agreement, the US government chose to return the Cavazos family’s land.
“I would like to thank my cousin, Rey Anzaldua, my brother, Alfredo Cavazos, and my sister, Baudilia Rodriguez for their continued support and tireless efforts through the process of redeeming our family’s land these past four years resulting in this unbelievably positive outcome,” Cavazos said in a statement.
This is amazing news!
Felicidades a los Cavazos!
This was an awful experience for them, just like many fellow fronterizos whose home/land is being taken by federal government for useless/xenophobic wall!
Gracias a todos los que ayudaron: @ACLUTx @NoBorderWallLTX @TXCivilRights
— Alejandro Mata Veracruz (@eaglepasscub) December 7, 2021
When Biden took office, he put a stop to the prior president’s border wall project.
He intends to refund more than $2 billion (£1.5 billion) misappropriated from the Pentagon to help pay for the wall by the Trump administration.
“Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs, American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of federal funds,” the Office of Management and Budget had said in June.
For decades, the US government has constructed walls and other barriers along the 3,200-kilometer international border to eliminate some of the more convenient ways to circumvent checkpoints.
During Trump’s presidency, he set aside about $15 billion (£11.3 billion) for the construction of a “very impenetrable” border wall.
Despite opposition from civil rights advocates, the Republican president had completed 725 kilometers of the wall, moving rapidly and bypassing environmental inspections and mediation. Trump often bragged that his wall was “unpenetrable,” however it was sawed through several times and at least two separate areas fell apart during storms. There was also a viral video of a man climbing the wall in just seconds.
Another viral video showed an 8-year-old girl climbing a replica of Trump’s wall. Lucy Hancock climbed the wall without ropes or other gear, however, she did wear a belay, which is a safety device that catches a falling climber. Erik Kloeker, an adult climber, got up and over the wall in about 40 seconds.