After several years of fighting to keep their 6.5 acres of property, the Cavazos family will receive their land back.
Since 2018, the Cavazos family has been fighting to keep their 6.5 acres of property, located along the United States-Mexico border, from being taken away for the construction of former President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. In April this year, a federal judge ruled that the federal government could take "immediate possession" of their land. However, the Biden administration will return the land to its owners. The decision has given hope to the Cavazoses, who believed that the case would be dropped under the Biden administration. Additionally, the federal government will return seized land to several other families and landowners, CNN reports.
The Texas Civil Rights Project, which is representing the family, stated in a tweet on Tuesday, "Now that we have successfully stopped the construction of a needless and wasteful border wall on their property, Ms. Eloisa Cavazos and her family will be able to continue their quiet and fulfilling life beside the Rio Grande." Cavazos also shared a statement. "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," she affirmed. "I am deeply grateful to everyone who has been involved in this undertaking."
Throughout the past year, the Biden administration has been canceling border wall contracts, marking a reversal from Presidential predecessor Trump, who attempted to place more barriers across the border. The cancellation of wall contracts in the Rio Grande Valley is especially important for landowners who fought to keep their property across Trump's four-year term. For instance, Pamela Rivas also had her land revoked by the government. Although her case dated back to 2008, she claimed it picked up speed under the Trump administration. She recently learned that the land she owns, which sits along the Rio Grande Valley, had been returned.
She stated, "I don't have words to describe my joy. It was bittersweet at the beginning because my father wasn't here to see the outcome. At the same time, I was just thrilled." As per United States Customs and Border Protection, more than 450 miles have been built in multiple locations along the United States southern border, including roughly 52 miles where no barrier previously existed, since 2017. While the government is allowed to acquire privately-owned land for public use, officials moved at a faster rate to obtain land to build border barriers under then-President Donald Trump. The Biden administration, nonetheless, has moved to return land after ceasing construction.