Like previously noted, Biden on Day One of his presidency ended the previous administration’s so-called “national emergency” used as an excuse to put up the fencing. All construction is now halted for 60 days as the new administration reviews the project. A second order this week then directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review, though not rescind, the Remain in Mexico policy that has forced tens of thousands of vulnerable asylum-seekers to wait out their U.S. immigration court dates in Mexico.
”Lower courts ruled against the Trump administration in lawsuits challenging both the border-wall construction and the asylum program,” SCOTUSblog said, “but the Supreme Court allowed both policies to remain in effect while the Trump administration appealed.”
Corpus Christi Caller Times also reported that the Biden administration has dropped several private land seizure claims in Texas, with more expected to come. The report said that the previous president had continued filing lawsuits trying to seize privately owned land in the area “even after he lost the 2020 election. Court records show that [Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ryan] Patrick’s office filed 17 land-acquisition cases between Jan. 4, 2021 and Jan. 19, the day before Trump left the White House.”
CBS News reported the previous administration had planned to take thousands of acres of private land for the stupid project. “There’s been movements towards a pause and that’s positive,” Texas Civil Rights Project attorney Ricky Garza told CNN. The organization represents a number of landowners fighting the previous administration’s land-grabs, which Texas senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz did nothing to fight. “What needs to happen now is the administration reviews and dismisses all these cases.”
Human rights advocates praised Biden for beginning to take “initial steps toward undoing the chaos and illegality of the last four years,” and urged him to act as soon as possible to protect asylum-seekers still stranded under Remain in Mexico.
“The reviews directed by today’s orders should be conducted with great urgency,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “Every day that these illegal policies are left in place, people seeking this country’s protection continue to suffer kidnappings, attacks, and family separations. The administration must end the violations of our refugee laws and treaties.”