$450K per person: Is Biden admin. right to consider paying immigrant families separated at border?

David J. Phillip / AP

Fact Box

  • According to a report from the Wall Street Journal on October 28, 2021, the Biden administration is considering giving $450 thousand per person to immigrants separated at the border during the Trump administration. 
  • Former President Trump responded on Fox News’ “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Showsaying, “it’s not even believable what they’re doing” and compared America’s migrant crisis to a “dumping ground.”
  • The American Civil Liberties Union and other lawyers representing families are stating that migrants separated should receive $3.4 million per family. Allegedly, there are 940 families filing claims, however, ACLU reported about 5,500 displaced children due to President Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Policy in 2018.  
  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden terminated wall construction at the Southern Border. He also revoked Trump’s “Remain-in-Mexico” policy to reinstate “catch-and-release,” where migrants entering unlawfully, though caught by authorities, are released into the American interior while awaiting processing.
  • US Customs and Border Protection reported the number of migrant apprehensions reached a 21-year-record high of 213,534 in July 2021. September’s number dropped to 192,001 migrant encounters.

Morgan (Yes)

It is the fault of the United States government that thousands of families were separated at the border. The Trump administration could have found a way of keeping the families together rather than separating them had they cared to do so. It is right to pay these families to make up for the wrongs done to them. 

After Trump's 'zero tolerance' policy was shut down, the judge who put a halt to the policy recognized it should have been stopped from the very beginning. Paying these families will help financially settle some coming out of this stressful situation. In addition, paying these families could actually save the US money in the long run. Some families could receive more money if they go through the regular court process instead of reaching a legal settlement now, which means avoiding a bigger payout later. 

Many people take issue with the idea of giving $450,000 to each person in a family affected by the separation (with a $1 million cap per family), but the price isn't set in stone. The Biden administration is trying to give them an amount calculated to be owed to them for the emotional and physical trauma they experienced when separated from one another.

The US is facing a lot of scrutiny right now for how the government separated families at the border, both from our own citizens and noncitizens. Paying these families to help them survive and compensate for some of the damage we caused would be a step towards having a better reputation and doing the right thing. 

Curtice (No)

It's unfathomable that the Biden administration is considering paying illegal immigrants who, by the very definition, broke the law to enter the United States unlawfully. Any amount of money, let alone $450,000 per person, is unconscionable.

In just ten short months, Joe Biden has turned the southern US border into an unmitigated disaster, with illegal border crossings soaring to record highs. It apparently isn't enough to neglect to enforce our immigration laws or refuse to impose the same COVID protocols on illegal immigrants entering the country that Biden demands of many American citizens. Huge payments to illegal immigrants only further incentivize more illegal immigration. When you incentivize something, you will get more of it. 

At a time when American lower and middle-class families are struggling with rising gas and food prices, rapidly increasing inflation, supply chain disruptions, and the lingering effects of COVID shutdowns and vaccine mandates, this shows incredible short-sightedness on the part of the Biden administration and is a slap in the face to hard-working American families.

Rarely, if ever, has this country seen a president show such utter contempt for American citizens. We can all recall when Joe Biden took the oath of office, stating that he would faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and would, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. This is yet another example of where he has failed to do just that when the president prioritizes paying foreign nationals who break our laws more than what is paid out to families of veterans.

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