Biden admin seeks to pay reparations to illegal migrants separated during Trump term

The Biden administration “is in talks” to provide up to $1 billion in taxpayer funds to thousands of families separated at the border after crossing illegally into the U.S. during former President Donald Trump’s term, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The paper noted that the administration plans to offer around $450,000 per person in compensation to resolve lawsuits that were “filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma,” according to unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations.

The report said that officials with the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are contemplating payouts of nearly $1 million per family, though the final settled upon amount could change, sources said.

“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, citing the sources. “Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances.”

Families in one of the suits are being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The legal assistance organization claims to have identified roughly 5,500 children that were separated at the border after illegally crossing the border with adults during the Trump administration, citing numbers provided by the U.S. government, the Journal reported.

So far, around 940 claims have been filed, and sources told the paper that it’s unclear how many eventually will. Thus, they expect the number of families who will be eligible to participate in any settlement to be smaller. The Journal said that the total payout figure could top $1 billion.

“As part of a so-called zero-tolerance enforcement policy, immigration agents separated thousands of children, ranging from infants to teenagers, from their parents at the southern border in 2018 after they had crossed illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. In some cases families were forcefully broken up with no provisions to track and later reunite them, government investigations found,” the WSJ reported.

“The lawsuits allege some of the children suffered from a range of ailments, including heat exhaustion and malnutrition, and were kept in freezing cold rooms and provided little medical attention,” the paper added.

The average family claim is around $3.4 million, the paper reported.

Republicans slammed the administration for even discussing possible settlements with migrants who violated U.S. laws against illegal entry.

“It would be unthinkable to pay damages to a burglar who broke into your home for the ‘psychological trauma’ they endured during the crime,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) noted in a statement, according to Breitbart News. “And yet the Biden administration wants to reward migrants who illegally entered our country with up to $450,000 each for just that reason.

“The Biden administration’s promises of citizenship and entitlement programs have already caused the worst border crisis in history — a huge cash reward will make it even worse. This is the height of insanity,” Cotton added.

“Pure insanity. The Biden administration is reportedly looking to pay $450,000 to illegal immigrants who knowingly broke the law. It’s a slap in the face to our law-abiding citizens who wake up, go to work, and pay their taxes,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

“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,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), a Navy SEAL veteran, added online.

“I’m confused – is Joe Biden really offering $450,000/family to ILLEGAL immigrants who ILLEGALLY crossed our borders? This isn’t “compensation”. This is BRIBERY,” Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jordan noted.

“Does no one in Biden Administration know that paying $450,000 to illegal immigrants is a giant signal to the whole world to break American law and hope US government will make you rich. $450,000 in many countries is a fortune. Congress must stop the madness,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in response.

“Even by Biden Administration standards the idea of paying up to $450,000 to illegal immigrants because they were separated when they ILLEGALLY came to the US is simply insane. Congress should pass a law blocking this craziness. This is a signal to the whole world to sneak into US,” he contiued.

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