Biden asks high court to put off wall, asylum cases

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FILE – Crews construct a section of border wall in San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Douglas, Ariz. President Biden on Wednesday ordered a “pause” on all wall construction within a week, one of 17 executive edicts issued on his first day in office, including six dealing with immigration. The order leaves projects across the border unfinished and under contract after Trump worked feverishly last year to reach 450 miles, a goal he announced was achieved eight days before leaving office. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has asked the Supreme Court to put off arguments over two controversial Trump administration policies that have been challenged in court now that President Joe Biden has taken steps to unwind them.

The Justice Department asked the justices Monday to cancel arguments on Feb. 22 in a case over President Donald Trump’s decision to divert billions of dollars in taxpayer money to construction of portions of a wall along the border with Mexico.

The new administration made a similar request for arguments set for a week later over the Trump policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings.

In his first days as president, Biden rescinded the national emergency Trump declared on the southern border and ordered a pause in wall construction. He also suspended the so-calledremain in Mexicopolicy for new arrivals.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents groups that sued the Trump administration in both cases, has agreed to putting off both cases, acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told the court.

In a statement regarding the border wall, the ACLU also called for the administration to tear down the new construction and address environmental damage it caused. “It’s a good start that the Biden administration is not rushing to defend Trump’s illegal wall in court, but just hitting the brakes isn’t enough. Trump’s wall devastated border communities, the environment, and tribal sites,” ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin said.

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