Biden to Give $450,000 Taxpayer Cash to Every Migrant 'Separated' under Trump
Plan awards every person separated at border under zero-tolerance policy
Democrat Joe Biden's administration is working on a plan to award $450,000 in taxpayer money to every migrant separated at the border under President Donald Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy, according to reports.
The scheme, which will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars, will see many illegal immigrant families receiving close to $1 million if two members claim to have been separated from each other.
The move comes in response to lawsuits from migrants who are suing the U.S. government after being detained at the southern border, claiming the experience caused them "lasting psychological damage."
Officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are working on the plan to award migrants the huge, life-changing payouts, "people familiar with the matter" reportedly told the Wall Street Journal.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents the "separated families," has identified about 5,500 children who were found crossing the border during the course of the Trump-era policy.
President Trump's administration enacted the policy in April 2018 and withdrew it two months later.
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 in adult facilities, due to the danger of sexual violence and other risks, the families were separated, government investigations found.
Trump-era investigations also discovered that migrants were traveling with unrelated children and claimed to be families in order to game the system, with the minors often abandoned after reaching U.S soil.
The "fake families" scams by ruthless people smugglers led to a rise in child trafficking across the border and children were often separated while family links were investigated by authorities.
Now, under Biden, tens of thousands of migrants are released into the interior of the US and asked to appear in court at a later date.
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.
The Biden administration has repeatedly deemed the policy cruel and inhumane and promised to reunite 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's 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.
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.
Meanwhile, Republicans were quick to condemn the report.
"I just about fell out of my chair when I read this," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
"For the sake of our country, I hope this reporting is in error.
"This would be an OUTRAGE."
"UNACCEPTABLE Report says Biden admin considering payments of 450k per person 2ppl who crossed the border ILLEGALLY," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote on Twitter.
"Those are taxpayers dollars.
"We should not be paying anything to ppl who break our laws."
"Joe Biden wants to raise your taxes, but give $450,000 to illegal immigrants," said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
"Biden is putting America last."
"Under @POTUS @JoeBiden: Pay more for #gasoline, #groceries, home heating, & everyday living necessities," Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) 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," Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) wrote on Twitter.
"Amidst rising inflation, this is how he wants to spend your money. Priorities."