The Biden administration is negotiating what could turn out to be a very expensive settlement of litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of illegal immigrant families. These families allegedly experienced “trauma” from being separated during the Trump administration and are suing for damages. The total settlement could approach as much as a billion dollars.
A Fox News reporter asked President Biden directly on November 3rd whether his administration’s reported plan to pay members of illegal immigrant families who were separated at the border up to $450,000 each would incentivize even more immigrants to enter the country illegally. Biden called such reports “garbage.” But then, after the ACLU executive director, Anthony Romero, claimed that “President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department,” the White House had to do some cleanup.
The Biden White House’s principal deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters at the November 4th White House press briefing that payouts to the separated illegal immigrants could indeed happen.
The deputy press secretary said that when Biden characterized the reports of payouts to illegal immigrants as “garbage,” the president was referring specifically to the $450,000 per person payout mentioned in the reports and not to the possibility of payouts per se.
“If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of zero tolerance and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government,” Jean-Pierre added.
On November 6th, during a tense exchange, Biden raised his voice and pointed his finger indignantly at a reporter, taking issue himself with the specific $450,000 number. Biden falsely put words into the mouth of the Fox News reporter who had asked him the original question three days earlier about the reports of payments to illegal immigrants. According to Biden, this reporter had said that “everybody coming across the border gets 450,000 dollars.” Not true.
The Fox news reporter had actually said “there were reports that were surfacing that your administration is planning to pay illegal immigrants who are separated from their families at the border up to $450,000 each, possibly a million dollars per family.” (Emphasis added)
Biden was creating a red herring to distract attention from his willingness to pay some amount of compensation to those illegal immigrants claiming “trauma” from their family separations. There would have been no such separation “trauma” in the first place but for the fact that the adults had recklessly dragged children along with them to the United States in violation of U.S. law.
Biden thinks the illegal immigrants are entitled to be rewarded even though they have broken the law. “If in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border — whether it was legal or illegal — and you lost your child,” Biden said during his November 6th outburst. “You lost your child, he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation no matter what the circumstances.”
Biden said that he had “no idea” what the final dollar settlement payouts will be. This leaves open the distinct possibility that illegal immigrant family members will receive more U.S. taxpayer money from the settlements than the surviving families of members of the Armed Forces, who die while on active duty, would receive.
It is outrageous that the surviving families of each of the 13 U.S. service members, who were killed in a terrorist attack last August as a direct result of Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, may well receive less than the free-riding illegal immigrant families.
The president of the United States is authorized by the Constitution to enforce the laws, not to remake or ignore them. Former President Trump was doing no more than strictly enforcing the nation’s immigration laws on illegal border crossings.
There is nothing that the Trump administration did that merits a windfall to separated illegal immigrant families. Trump followed the law in not detaining the children for more than twenty days along with the adults who accompanied them across the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, Trump would not go back on his word to end “catch and release.” He would not simply release all the adults as well as the children they had traveled with, who may not have even been those adults’ own children in the first place. The adults who violated U.S. immigration law remained in detention. This necessarily required the separation of illegal immigrant parents or other adult custodians from the children.
In any case, only a few thousand children were separated before the Trump administration decided to discontinue its family separation policy. Any “trauma” from the separations was entirely the lawbreaking adults’ fault.
There was no catastrophic border crisis when Biden took office on January 20, 2021. He inherited immigration policies that had worked in stemming the flood of illegal immigrants into the United States.
Then the floodgates opened after Biden allowed record numbers of illegal immigrants to enter the United States without federal COVID-19 vaccinations or testing, only to then be released to settle in communities across the country.
Now Biden wants to go even further and compensate the separated immigrant families who had criminally entered the country. Biden has not addressed whether families legally residing in the United States with parents who commit a crime and are separated from their children after incarceration also deserve “some kind of compensation no matter what the circumstances.”
Nearly 100,000 illegal immigrants have been released inside the United States under the Biden administration, according to a leaked document from Customs and Border Protections that was reported on last month. This reckless policy has led to tragic consequences.
For example, an illegal immigrant in his twenties who posed as a 17-year-old minor was taken into custody last month for allegedly killing Francisco Javier Cuellar, a father of four. The Biden administration bears responsibility for this permanent separation of Cuellar’s four children from their murdered father, taken from them allegedly by an illegal immigrant the Biden administration allowed into the country and then released.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at the Biden administration. “This horrific crime is the latest example of how unfettered illegal migration costs Floridians’ lives,” DeSantis said in a statement to News4Jax. “If not for the Biden Administration’s unlawful ‘catch and release’ policy, [victim] Francisco Cuellar would still be alive today.”
If anyone deserves compensation from the Biden administration, it is the child who loses a parent at the hands of an illegal immigrant whom the Biden administration released following the illegal’s apprehension.
The separated illegal families, on the other hand, do not deserve a single penny of American taxpayers’ money.
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