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Republican senators are set to introduce legislation Thursday that would prohibit the Biden administration from paying hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to migrants who crossed illegally into the United States during the Trump years.
The measure, backed by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is called the Protect American Taxpayer Dollars from Illegal Immigration Act, and it comes as the controversy over the reported plans by the Biden administration to make massive payouts to illegal aliens continues.
According to the measure, the administration would be barred from using federal tax dollars, including the Judgment Fund which pays out court-ordered judgments and lawsuit settlements against the federal government, for illegal migrants if those settlements stem from being detained at the border after Jan. 20, 2017, the day of former President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Fox News reported Thursday.
The legislation is in response to reports that the Biden administration intended to pay out up to $450,000 to individual migrants detained during the Trump years or $1 million to migrant families, according to a Wall Street Journal report in October. The administration claims the money would go to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of illegal migrants separated from their family members during the Trump administration.
“Our southern border is a disaster, and President Biden’s failed policies have continued to fuel this ongoing crisis,” noted Tillis in a statement. “We are seeing the most illegal immigration this year alone than ever recorded, and now President Biden wants to give illegal immigrants a payout, further rewarding lawlessness and chaos.
“These $450,000 settlements are an insult to all hardworking Americans who will subsequently be funding these large settlements with their hard-earned tax dollars,” he added. “I am proud to work with my colleagues to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
When he was asked about the payouts last month, initially Biden called the report “garbage.” But later he changed direction and went on to defend the payouts though he did not agree with the reported $450,000 figure.
“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, he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance,” Biden said.
“What that will be, I have no idea. I have no idea,” he said while adding that was “the number I was referring to” when he said the report was “garbage.”
Republicans were outraged by the report, with most noting that the payouts would only encourage more illegal immigration.
“While American families are struggling anxiously just to keep pace with President Biden’s inflation, the President now wants to make millionaires out of people who crossed the border illegally. It’s beyond parody,” McConnell noted this week in a statement. “Obviously, this would only exacerbate the Democrats’ border crisis and incentivize the riskiest and most dangerous kinds of illegal immigration.”
Added Cotton: “It would be unthinkable to pay damages to a burglar who broke into your home for the ‘psychological trauma’ they endured during the crime. And yet the Biden administration wants to reward migrants who illegally entered our country with up to $450,000 each for just that reason.”
Last month, a survey by the Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action found that more than two-thirds of Americans — 67 percent — opposed the payouts.
“For more than six months, our polling has consistently found that overwhelming majorities of Americans in all parties are opposed to the insane policies coming out of Washington, D.C. since Biden came into office,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, in a statement.
“For the good of the nation and for the good of their own party, the left needs to reverse course immediately and get back to common sense,” he continued. “Halting ridiculous payments to criminals who violated our laws and came here illegally would be a good start, and stopping more of those people from illegally crossing would be another one.”
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