Biden vigorously DEFENDS compensation to families separated at border

Now Biden DEFENDS migrant compensation payments he called ‘garbage’ three days ago: Says families separated at border ‘deserve some kind of compensation’ but has ‘no idea’ if it will be as much as $450,000

  • Biden was speaking at a press conference touting the passage of the $1.2trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill when he was asked about the payments 
  • Biden was forceful in saying he would try to get payments to those families, criticizing former President Donald Trump’s border policy. 
  • ‘You deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance,’ he said of separated families. ‘What that will be, I have no idea’
  • Last week it was revealed that officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments 
  • The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the separated families, has identified about 5,500 children separated from parents at the border 
  • The total potential payout could cost $1 billion or more 

President Joe Biden vigorously defended a plan to send payments to families separated at the southern border Saturday, days after calling a report that the payments were as much as $450,000 ‘garbage.’

Biden was speaking at a press conference touting the passage of the $1.2trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill when he was asked about the payments. 

Fox News’ David Spunt asked: ‘You said last week, that this report about migrant families at the border getting payments was garbage.’

Biden interrupted: ‘No I didn’t say that, let’s get it straight, you said everybody coming across the border gets $450,000.’

Biden then was forceful in saying he would try to get payments to those families, criticizing former President Donald Trump’s border policy.

‘If in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border – whether it was legal or illegal – and you lost your child, you lost your child, it’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance,’ he said. ‘What that will be, I have no idea.’

President Joe Biden vigorously defended a plan to send payments to families separated at the southern border Saturday

Biden was largely calm but became forceful when bringing up that people had ‘lost their child’ at the border

Biden continued to deny the payments would be as high as $450,000 but had ‘no idea’ what they would be

Just days ago, Biden called a report that the payments were as much as $450,000 ‘garbage.’ 

Last week it was revealed that officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payments that could total close to $1 million for two people within the same family, people familiar told the Wall Street Journal. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the separated families, has identified about 5,500 children separated from parents at the border during the course of the Trump-era policy. 

Former President Trump’s administration enacted the policy in April 2018 and withdrew it two months later after much controversy in June.  

The total potential payout could cost $1 billion or more. 

The ‘zero-tolerance policy’ applied to families who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border to claim asylum. Since children could not be detained alongside their parents, the families were separated, sometimes with no way to track and reunited them later on, government investigations found. 

The Biden administration is considering paying out a whopping $450,000 per person to families separated at the southern border

Officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payments that could total close to $1 million for two people within the same family

Now, many families are released into the interior of the US and asked to appear in court at a later date. Some are deported under Title 42, the coronavirus public health policy. 

Lawsuits allege that the separated children were housed in poor conditions, and sometimes suffered from malnutrition or heat exhaustion or were kept in freezing cold rooms and offered little medical care. Lawyers for the families argue the children have suffered long-lasting trauma from the anxiety of being without their parents. 

They seek a range of payouts, averaging $3.4 million per family, according to the WSJ. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump loyalist, said Tuesday he is ‘very, very concerned’ about the payments declaring them to be a ‘slap in the face’ with Americans themselves already struggling to make ends meet as inflation boosts the cost of living.   

Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis has blasted reports that the federal government may pay $450,000 per person to those separated from their families at the border

He called the proposed payouts a ‘slap in the face to hardworking Americans’

‘I mean, you think about it, Americans are getting more in their gas bills. They’re getting more in their grocery bills,’ DeSantis said during a press conference. ‘You’ve had all kinds of really bad policies throughout our country that have limited freedom.

‘And you’re going to turn around for that and you’re going to do $475,000 for an individual that came illegally to this country?’ DeSantis decried.

On Wednesday, Biden denied the report and accused the media of putting out ‘garbage.’

Speaking at a press conference on the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11, the 78-year-old Democrat was asked whether the reported payments ‘might incentivize more people to come over illegally.’

‘If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah,’ Biden retorted. ‘But it’s not true.’

He was then asked, ‘So this is a garbage report?’

Biden stood by his aggressive reaction. 

‘Yeah. $450,000 per person, is that what you’re saying?’ Biden asked. ‘That’s not going to happen.’ 

Biden then faced heavy criticism from liberal groups, with the ACLU issuing a statement slamming the Democrat. 

‘President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy,’ ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said later on Wednesday.

‘But if he follows through on what he said, the president is abandoning a core campaign promise to do justice for the thousands of separated families. We respectfully remind President Biden that he called these actions ‘criminal’ in a debate with then-President Trump, and campaigned on remedying and rectifying the lawlessness of the Trump administration. We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy.’ 

Biden was asked about the reported payments to migrants by a Fox News reporter during a White House press conference on Wednesday

The saga continued into Thursday, when White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Biden is ‘perfectly comfortable’ with cash payouts to migrant families separated at the border, but insisted the settlements won’t be as high as $450,000.

Jean-Pierre, standing in for Jen Psaki after her COVID diagnosis, responded by saying that settlements were happening, and he was responding to the claim that they could be close to half-a-million dollars. 

‘If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of “zero tolerance” and family separation behind us, the President is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the US government,’ she said.

She wouldn’t specify the amount the Biden administration would spend in the settlements and referred all other questions to the Department of Justice. 

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that President Biden is ‘perfectly comfortable’ with cash payouts to migrant families separated at the border, but insisted the settlements won’t be as high as $450,000

The disputed financial offerings have been heavily criticized by Republicans, who  unveiled legislation on Thursday aimed at blocking the payments.  

The lawmakers are led by Rep. Tom McClintock of California, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. He said the reported plan ‘adds insult to injury’ amid a months-long border crisis.

McClintock is introducing the bill, the Illegal Immigration Payoff Prohibition Act, and it will be co-sponsored by 137 of his GOP colleagues including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Fox reports.

It’s the first widespread effort by Republicans to stop a reported plan to pay $450,000 per person or up to $1 million per family for migrants who crossed the border illegally and were separated under Donald Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.

GOP lawmakers have vehemently attacked the proposal, comparing it to giving money to someone breaking into your home.  

It’s is meant to amend the US attorney general’s power to hand out financial settlements. 

If passed, Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland would be blocked from making payments to undocumented migrants that are directly linked to them running afoul of immigration laws, including entering the country illegally.



Rep. Tom McClintock (left) introduced the legislation, and it’s backed by 137 House lawmakers including GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (center) and Rep. Jim Jordan (right)

Migrants rest in a public square as they take part in a caravan heading to Mexico City, in Pijijiapan, Mexico November 3. According to reports, many of them are hoping to reach the US southern border

Critics of the reported $450,000 payment plan have said it’ll encourage more migrants to come to the US border, after record numbers of asylum-seekers were already encountered by officers since Biden took office (pictured: Migrants line up for food during a resting day, as they take part in a caravan heading to Mexico City, in Pijijiapan, Mexico November 3)

‘Law-abiding, hardworking Americans have seen their purchasing power decimated by Biden’s economic policies while he has surrendered our southern border,’ McClintock said in a statement obtained by Fox.

‘Paying illegal immigrants $450,000 apiece as an apology for Trump’s decision to enforce our immigration law adds insult to injury. Congress has the power of the purse, and that’s why we must act today to stop this outrageous plan in its tracks. 

Lawyers for both the families and the government have said that they are working on settlements and hope to be finished by the end of November. 

But some government lawyers are outraged at the payments under discussion, which they view as excessive for people who knowingly broke the law by crossing the border. One government lawyer threatened to remove his name from the case in protest of the potential settlement offer. 

One government attorney said that the payouts could amount to more than the government paid to the families of 9/11 victims and Gold Star families. Another disputed that comparison, as the US government had not been directly responsible for the 9/11 attack. Payouts averaged $2 million, tax-free, per family.  

So far, 45 House Republicans including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, GOP Caucus Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, have put their name to a demanding answers from the Biden administration.

‘Promising tens of thousands of dollars to those who unlawfully entered the United States would not only reward criminal behavior, but it would surely send a message to the world that our borders are open and our rule of law will not be enforced,’ the letter states.

Officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payments that could total close to $1 million for two people within the same family

A record 1.7 million families were encountered trying to enter the US illegally in the 2021 fiscal year, ending September 30, up from a record 1.6 million in 2000. Over 479,000 families were encountered, along with an unusually high number of unaccompanied children – 147,000. 

Inadequate tracking systems caused many to be apart for an extended time. The payments are intended as compensation for what occurred. 

Attorneys for the families are also seeking permanent legal status in the United States for those separated under the practice enacted by former President Trump’s administration in April 2018.

A judge halted the process after much controversy in June 2018, six days after Trump suspended it amid an international backlash.

The ‘zero-tolerance policy’ applied to families who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border to claim asylum. Since children could not be detained alongside their parents, the families were separated, sometimes with no way to track and reunited them later on, government investigations found. 

Under the Biden administration, many families are released into the interior of the US and asked to appear in court at a later date

Now, many families are released into the interior of the US and asked to appear in court at a later date. Some are deported under Title 42, the coronavirus public health policy. 

Lawsuits allege that the separated children were housed in poor conditions, and sometimes suffered from malnutrition or heat exhaustion or were kept in freezing cold rooms and offered little medical care. Lawyers for the families argue the children have suffered long-lasting trauma from the anxiety of being without their parents. 

The Biden administration has repeatedly deemed the policy cruel and inhumane and promised to reunited families still separated. 

Earlier this month, Michelle Brane, head of the Family Reunification Task Force, said that the Biden team had only been able to reunite 52 of the over 1,000 families separated under the policy who have not yet found each other.

‘We estimate that over 1,000, somewhere between 1,000, 1,500, maybe more remain separated,’ Brane said on CBS’ 60 Minutes on October 12. ‘It’s very hard to know because there’s no record.’

She added: ‘So there’s nowhere to go to find out who was separated or not. It really is case-by-case detective work.’

The task force is reportedly in the process of reuniting 200 more.  

Reunited families are then given a three-year grant of parole, allowing them to live and work legally in the US for that period, but are not offered a pathway to citizenship.  

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