The White House is engaged in talks to allocate more than $1 billion for illegal immigrants who were separated from their families during the Trump administration, which could result in some people who broke the law receiving as much as $450,000 per person, according to a stunning report.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story Thursday, noting that the Justice Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security are floating the idea of the payouts as a way to settle lawsuits which accuse the federal government of inflicting distress on parents and their children.
Not every affected migrant family would receive the large payout, per the report, which cited people close to discussions surrounding the payments.
“Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child,” the Journal reported. “Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances.”
The Journal also reported that during a conference call discussion about the proposed payouts, a DHS lawyer complained that non-citizens who entered the country illegally could be paid more than American victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“Other people said senior departmental officials were in alignment on the amount and disputed the 9/11 comparison, given that the U.S. government hadn’t been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,” the Journal reported.
A number of prominent conservative lawmakers slammed the Biden administration over the report that some illegal immigrants would receive reparation payments amid the ongoing border crisis.
Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona was among them. Biggs called the reported payout “unfathomable.”
Check out my statement regarding reports that the Biden administration intends to offer certain illegal aliens up to $450,000 each, potentially costing taxpayers more than $1 billion. pic.twitter.com/98ZMWus4Zp
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 28, 2021
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas also slammed the reported proposal.
“It’s unthinkable to pay a burglar who broke into your home for the ‘psychological trauma’ they endured during the crime. Yet the Biden admin wants to reward migrants who illegally entered our country with up to $450,000 each for just that reason. Insanity,” he tweeted.
It’s unthinkable to pay a burglar who broke into your home for the ‘psychological trauma’ they endured during the crime. Yet the Biden admin wants to reward migrants who illegally entered our country with up to $450,000 each for just that reason. Insanity. https://t.co/XNTFs9KkLo
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) October 28, 2021
Other GOP lawmakers also weighed in:
Biden wants to pay illegal immigrants $450,000 for their hardship while breaking our laws.
For perspective, if a service member is killed in action, their next of kin gets an insurance payment of $400,000.
Let that sink in. https://t.co/J3kuhDhyD5
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) October 28, 2021
I can’t BELIEVE Biden wants to pay illegals who were allegedly “separated at the border” $450,000. We’re REWARDING people who’ve BROKEN THE LAW. They shouldn’t be rewarded – they should be DEPORTED! This is INSANE!! https://t.co/veL16eAyGB
— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) October 28, 2021
Biden’s going to pay illegal aliens 450,000 a person. America last sucks.https://t.co/eo4ILqiNGs
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) October 28, 2021
Joe Biden wants to raise your taxes, but give $450,000 to illegal immigrants. Biden is putting America last. https://t.co/ecAKosOYbq
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) October 28, 2021
Each migrant family included in the proposed settlement could stand to receive nearly $1 million. An estimated 940 families have initiated lawsuits relating to separations between 2017 and 2018 during former President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
The Hill reported many of the lawsuits were initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU in January issued a statement on the issue days before President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
“The barbaric family separation practice was immoral and illegal. At a minimum, Justice Department lawyers should have known the latter. This new report shows just how far the Trump administration was willing to go to destroy these families. Just when you think the Trump administration can’t sink any lower, it does,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said.
“The Biden-Harris administration will inherit the legacy of family separation, and we don’t doubt that more horrific details will continue to emerge. We need them to act with urgency — every day without action makes it harder to find and reunite families,” Gelernt added.
Gelernt concluded that migrant families which were separated after illegally crossing into the U.S. were owed “citizenship” and “resources.”
Settlement negotiations between the federal government and migrant families are ongoing, but might be resolved in November, per the Journal. With a record-breaking number of illegal migrants now crossing into the country monthly, it isn’t likely that news of the report will act as a deterrent for those who intend to take advantage of the Biden administration’s negligent and chaotic approach to enforcing immigration law.
The message from the Biden White House amid a year of immigration crises, if the report is accurate, seems to be that breaking the law can pay — as long as you’re not an American citizen.
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