Federal Court Blocks Biden Administration from Further Divestment of Border Wall Funds

On Friday, a federal court issues a ruling temporarily blocking the Biden Administration from a planned divestment of $1.4 billion in funding that had been designated by Congress for construction of a wall on the southern border.

Fox News reports that the ruling was in response to an order given by Biden shortly after taking power in January of 2021, declaring that the national emergency declared by the Trump Administration over the southern border was over. The order thus halted any further construction of the wall, and left the funds designated for the wall in 2020 and 2021 in a state of bureaucratic limbo.

“It shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall,” Biden said at the time. “I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall.”

In response to the order, the Biden Administration was sued by the states of Missouri and Texas, which argued that the redirecting of funds was illegal and in violation of the separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch. The states also argued that individual states would face greater harm as a result of the rise in illegal immigration due to the cancellation of the border wall.

In response, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) argued that the states had not been able to establish any proof that the lack of a wall would lead to more migration, claiming that surges in immigrant crossings can be caused by “social, economic, and political factors.”

After hearing both sides, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, ruled in favor of the states, issuing a temporary injunction on the Biden Administration’s reappropriation of border wall funds.

“Texas has shown injury-in-fact through costs that it has incurred in administering driver’s licenses, education, and healthcare to a rising number of illegal aliens,” Judge Tipton declared in his ruling. “Traceability is met because Texas has sufficiently demonstrated that the failure to build more physical barriers will reduce the number of apprehensions that otherwise would have occurred. And finally, this controversy is redressable because it is likely that a favorable judicial decision would reduce the financial harms that Texas otherwise would incur.”

The ruling marks yet another setback for the Biden Administration in its clash with multiple states over the border crisis. The state of Texas, under the direction of Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas), has begun construction of its own physical barriers along the southern border, including barbed wire, metal shipping containers, and buoy barriers in the Rio Grande River. Despite the Biden Administration successfully suing to block the implementation of such barriers, and the Supreme Court siding with the federal government, Governor Abbott has vowed to continue building makeshift barriers anyway.

Texas also passed a law making it a state crime for illegal aliens to enter Texas from a foreign country illegally, thus giving state authorities the power to arrest and deport illegals. That law is currently on hold pending a case before the Supreme Court.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: LA JOYA, TEXAS John Moore/Getty Images