Border wall construction court cases continue after Biden's 60-day halt on construction ends
One of the first actions President Biden took after he was sworn in in January was the signing of a proclamation to halt border wall construction for 60 days.
However, that 60 day period ended on March 21, and there has been no additional word from the White House on how to proceed, leaving many local legal cases in limbo.
In a March 26 federal court filing over land condemnation in Webb County, the U.S. argued against dismissing the case, saying the defendant's claim that any condemnation for the purpose of building fencing is now meritless.
The government also arguing that Biden's order "left open the possibility that some aspects of the project may resume."
“There could be some border wall construction from the Valley, some local advocates think that might happen,” said Roberto Lopez with the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Border wall construction in the Valley is an exception to the proclamation. The initial order to pause pertains to military funds; the Valley’s border wall construction funds have come from Congress.
“Congress appropriated billions of dollars for wall construction here,” Lopez said. “So we’re a little bit different than the rest of the border.”
During U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar’s visit to the Valley on Tuesday, Channel 5 News asked Cuellar, who serves as the vice chair on the house's Homeland Security Subcommittee, why border wall cases are still moving forward.
“In some places they did stop the lawsuits, so I’d love to know what cases you're referring to in particular on that,” Cuellar said.
Channel 5 News sent Cuellar’s team the court filings Tuesday afternoon and are awaiting a response from his office.
As for now, some cases are set to go forward as early as next week, including the Valley Land Fund's Bird Preserve in Salineño.