Biden flack says DOJ to determine payout amount to migrants, stopped in his tracks by Gold Star family question

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The Justice Department is going to establish the amount of taxpayer funds paid out to hundreds of illegal migrants who were separated from their alleged families if it will save money in the long run, a senior White House adviser said on Sunday of payments that could run at least $450,000 a piece.

“If the DOJ determines that it saves the taxpayers money and it rights a wrong, then they will make the determination that is necessary and I would assume if they make a determination, they’ll come up with what they think is an adequate dollar amount,” White House adviser and former congressman Cedric Richmond noted on “Fox News Sunday.”

He went on to say that the DOJ is supposedly making those decisions independent of the White House.

“But again, the question is,​ we took children. President Trump ​took children from their parents, and some children have never been returned. Do we think that’s OK​?” he asked. ​​

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented the child separation policy at the border in 2018, saying at the time the policy was implemented as a deterrent to illegal immigration; it was Trump who actually ended the policy via executive order a few months later.

Richmond’s comments are the latest regarding the highly controversial plan by the administration to make the payments in order to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of those separated by the ACLU and other organizations. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the negotiations late last month.

“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.”

“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.

Republicans have blasted the administration for even considering paying off migrants who crossed illegally into the country, adding that doing so would only serve as an incentive to others to do the same.

“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 last month on the heels of the WSJ’s report. “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.

But Richmond took umbrage with GOP complaints.

“I​ mean, at some point, we cannot with a straight face say that parents are willing to separate from a child for ​a dollar amount. That’s just not true​,” Richmond told Fox News.​  ​”​And we should not talk​ like that.”​

After the initial report, President Biden appeared to refute it, saying the payouts were “not going to happen.” But last week under questioning, he reversed himself, saying he believes the migrants “deserve” to be compensated.

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