The Biden Administration is reportedly “in talks” with families of migrants who crossed illegally into the U.S. during the previous administration and were separated to pay them up to $450,000 each to help settle several lawsuits.
“The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“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 people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said,” according to the paper.
“In another instance, a Department of Homeland Security attorney involved in the settlement talks complained on a conference call that the payouts could amount to more than some families of 9/11 victims received, one person said,” the WSJ added.
“Other people said senior departmental officials were in alignment on the amount and disputed the 9/11 comparison, given that the U.S. government hadn’t been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The 9/11 victim compensation fund averaged awards to the dead of around $2 million, tax-free, at the time an unprecedented payout, the administrator of the fund has said,” the paper reported.
Republicans who caught wind of the discussions were outraged.
“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-AR) 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 said.
Illegal migrants allege in their suits that their separation from the children they snuck into the country with caused mental health and trauma issues they claim to be struggling to deal with.
Lawyers for the migrants are seeking damages of about $3.4 million per family unit.
During the Trump administration, several federal immigration officials noted that many adult migrants were arriving that the border with children who did not belong to them.
In 2019, the Washington Examiner reported:
In a pilot program, approximately 30% of rapid DNA tests of immigrant adults who were suspected of arriving at the southern border with children who weren’t theirs revealed the adults were not related to the children, an official involved in the system’s temporary rollout who asked to be anonymous in order to speak freely told the Washington Examiner…
“There’s been some concern about, ‘Are they stepfathers or adopted fathers?'” the official said. “Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members.”