The Biden administration is considering payments of $450,000 to illegal aliens – per person – for "immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration" after illegal entering into the United States. Pictured: Migrants illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico on April 30, 2021 in Roma, Texas.(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
The Biden administration is considering payments of $450,000 to illegal aliens – per person – for "immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration" after illegal entering into the United States. The payments would be part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of illegal alien families. The total settlement amount is reported to be at least $1 billion of federal taxpayer funds.
On November 4, 2021, President Joe Biden told reporters that payments to families separated at the Mexico border are, "Not gonna' happen." When pressed further concerning the likelihood such payments would actually encourage more migrants to try to cross into the United States, Biden said, "If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah. But it's not true."
Within 24 hours, the White House reversed itself completely and claimed that Biden was "perfectly comfortable" making the settlement payments.
This situation raises, again, the question of whether Biden has any idea what administration officials around him are doing. It appears that officials who actually run the government are making decisions and acting on major public policy issues without telling the president. As a result, the President appeared before the national media, and denied the facts. One day later, a White House press spokesperson engages in damage control and spin, pretending Biden's complete ignorance of the matter was really about the amounts of the proposed settlements, with gratuitous swipes at Trump administration policies.
Media reports say that approximately 940 claims have been filed so far by families that were separated. On October 3, 2019, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit in Tucson, Arizona alleging the U.S. government violated immigrants' rights and deeply traumatized children who were taken from their parents after crossing the border illegally. U.S. government officials reportedly are not certain how many more will come forward or try and take advantage of the potential settlement, not to mention the incentivizing impact of being rewarded with nearly half a million dollars for breaking the law and entering the U.S. illegally. The New York Times estimates that roughly 5,500 children were separated from their parents as a result of the policies.
ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said Biden would be contradicting a campaign promise if he didn't allow the payments.
Now for some perspective on the notion that illegal aliens deserve settlement payments for being removed or detained for attempting to enter the United States unlawfully. The illegal aliens in question – by definition – were engaged in unlawful activity. The Trump administration policies inconvenienced them as they attempted to violate U.S. law. The unpleasant truth is that non-U.S. parents endanger their children by attempting to enter the United States unlawfully. The crossing is dangerous, and many persons suffer injuries and ailments. Heat exhaustion, illness, sexual assault and malnutrition are common. The Mexican cartels that control everything and everyone crossing the border are vicious criminal enterprises with no regard for human life. Placing the lives of one's children in their hands is reckless. Subsidizing that unlawful border-crossing conduct with U.S. taxpayer-financed settlement payments to the tune of $1 million dollars per illegal alien family is outrageous in the extreme. It is no wonder that Biden's uninformed, off-the-cuff, common sense reaction to the proposal was to deny it and call it garbage. It is garbage. But now it appears to be garbage that Americans are supposed to buy.
No mention was made, of course, for compensation by the Department of Justice to families separated from their children, permanently, after migrants illegally in the country killed them, or for the families of the roughly 93,000 Americans killed by opiates illegally smuggled across the open border that the Biden administration has now chosen to leave unprotected – nor of the fees that the lawyers bringing the lawsuits stand to get. These wronged families had done nothing illegal; why are they not entitled to compensation, too?
Congress can act to prevent this assault on taxpayers, the security of our borders and the courts. Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA), who serves as the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, introduced the Illegal Immigration Payoff Prohibition Act to stop the process. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), along with 135 other House members endorsed McClintock's bill. The problem, of course, is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would kill any initiative to constrain this open-borders payout – so do not expect any oversight or restrictions any time soon. While all appropriations for the expenditure of taxpayer dollars must begin in the House of Representatives, nonetheless Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) has also introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 to prevent such payments. Two dozen Republican senators have endorsed the amendment.
One last point to consider for some perspective on where your dollars are going: Should a member of the U.S. Armed Forces die on active duty, the surviving family members receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000.
Here is what you need to understand about Biden's America:
- Illegal alien separated from a child while unlawfully entering the United States = $450,000.
- Dead American Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine = $100,000.
It is as simple as that.
Chris Farrell is Director of Investigations at Judicial Watch and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.