Top Republicans are furious at President Biden’s proposal to consider paying a massive $450,000 per person to families who were separated at the southern border having crossed into the United States illegally.
The lump sums have been put forward as a way for the U.S. Justice Department to settle lawsuits with migrants who say the policy caused them lasting psychological damage.
But the very idea has got members of the GOP up in arms over such generous payouts with Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy declaring the policy to be ‘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,’ he tweeted on Thursday night.
The U.S. Justice Department is in talks to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to each child and parent who was separated under a Trump-era practice of splitting families at the border
The Biden Administration say the money would be for those families separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton also described the plans as ‘insanity’ while likening the migrants as ‘burglars who broke into a home’
Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy declared the policy to be ‘pure insanity’
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton also described the plans as ‘insanity’ while likening the migrants as ‘burglars who broke into a home’.
‘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,’ Cotton wrote.
Fellow Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack shared Cotton’s view.
‘Insanity. Rewarding illegal immigrants with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars is the ULTIMATE insult to law-abiding citizens. President Biden wants to send the IRS to surveil your bank account while cutting checks—with your money—to people who’ve broken our laws,’ Womack said.
Michigan Rep. Tim Wahlberg declared the idea to be ‘pure madness and an insult to hardworking taxpayers,’ while Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil was aghast at the proposals.
‘Our border is wide open and now Biden is in talks to pay illegal immigrants $450,000. This is unbelievable,’ Steil tweeted.
About 5,500 children were split from their parents under President Donald Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, under which parents were separated from their children to face criminal prosecution for crossing the border illegally, according to court filings in a federal case in San Diego.
Rep. Steve Womack was incensed by the the proposals which would hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars to those separated at the border
Michigan Rep. Tim Wahlberg declared the idea to be ‘pure madness and an insult to hardworking taxpayers’
Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil was aghast at the proposals
Officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are now 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 total potential payout could cost $1 billion or more.
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.
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.
Under the Biden administration, 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
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 Oct. 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.
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. 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, according to the paper.
A record 1.7 million families were encountered trying to enter the US illegally in the 2021 fiscal year, ending Sept. 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.
Other Republicans were also quick to condemn the report.
‘I just about fell out of my chair when I read this. For the sake of our country, I hope this reporting is in error. This would be an OUTRAGE,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
‘UNACCEPTABLE Report says Biden admin considering payments of 450k per person 2ppl who crossed the border ILLEGALLY Those are taxpayers dollars We should not be paying anything to ppl who break our laws,’ Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote on Twitter.
‘Joe Biden wants to raise your taxes, but give $450,000 to illegal immigrants. Biden is putting America last,’ said Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.
‘Under @POTUS @JoeBiden: Pay more for #gasoline, #groceries, home heating, & everyday living necessities,’ Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, wrote on Twitter.
‘Joe Biden gave Americans a $1300 check but wants to give illegal immigrants $450,000, which is more than the 9/11 victims compensation fund. Amidst rising inflation, this is how he wants to spend your money. Priorities,’ Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., wrote on Twitter.
The outrage appeared to be shared among Republicans after hearing about the proposals