Biden slams report that he’s considering six-figure payout to separated immigrant families

President Joe Biden is disputing talk that his administration plans to pay $450,000 per person to migrating families separated at the southern border.

Loading the player...

President Joe Biden is disputing reports that his administration is planning to pay up to $450,000 per person to families subjected to separation at the southern border during the previous president’s term. 

Biden addressed the issue when questioned by reporters on Wednesday. 

President Joe Biden speaks about the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 Wednesday at the White House. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“That’s not gonna happen,” he said. Questioned by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy as to whether the reparations plan could encourage further migration, Biden replied, “If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah.” 

“But,” Biden added, “it’s not true.” 

As previously reported, an article in The Wall Street Journal cites sources familiar with the matter from various governmental agencies — including the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, who noted the payments could amount to close to $1 million per family, though those numbers could change.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, addressed Biden’s most recent remarks on the matter, saying, in a statement: “President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy.” He urged the president to “right the wrongs of this national tragedy.”

Republicans have criticized the rumored plan. “Honestly, this absurd idea feels like a satirical policy proposal that Republicans would have invented to make a parody out of the radical left,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday, The Hill reported.

Sen. Tom Cotton also implied that Democratic-supported programs created the allure for migrants to want to come to the United States.

The ACLU alleges that many families, particularly children, suffered long-term mental and physical health problems. Experts have noted that settling the nearly 1,000 legal claims from migrants who endured the harsh separation would be easier than letting the case play out in court, where more details could emerge, and a jury may be more sympathetic. 

“President Biden has agreed that the family separation policy is a historic moral stain on our nation that must be fully remedied,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s immigrant-rights project and a lead negotiator on one of the lawsuits.

“That remedy,” Gelernt contends, “must include not only meaningful monetary compensation but a pathway to remain in the country.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio podcasts “Dear Culture” or “Acting Up?” Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

Loading the player...