Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly in talks to offer approximately $450,000 to every illegal alien that was separated from their family at the border under the previous administration’s zero-tolerance policy in 2018.
“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 Wall Street Journal reported. “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 report said that many families would likely get smaller payouts depending on their circumstances and that the total payout could be more than $1 billion. The move comes as the Biden administration works to resolve nearly a thousand lawsuits that have so far been filed by families.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that there are thousands of individuals that were separated under the policy.
The report added:
The discussions have been at times contentious. They have taken place over the past few months among a group of dozens of private lawyers representing the families and government lawyers. Some government lawyers have viewed the payouts as excessive for people who had violated the law by crossing the border, the people said. One government lawyer threatened to remove his name from the case out of disagreement with the potential settlement offer, the people said.
President Biden claimed the report was untrue when pressed on the issue during a press conference on November 3.
Former Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf slammed the reported move, saying that there were “no limits” to what the Biden administration would do in terms of implementing policy that was damaging to border security and immigration, adding that this latest move “may be at the top of the list.”
The report comes as Biden’s border crisis reached a new level on Friday as data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed that the Border Patrol has made approximately 1.66 million arrests of illegal aliens entering the U.S. from Mexico for Fiscal Year 2021.
“Border crossings surpassed 1.6 million annually at least twice recently, in 1986 and in 2000,” The Wall Street Journal reported last week. “In 2019, when crossings reached a peak under the Trump administration, the Border Patrol made about 850,000 arrests.”
The Journal added that the 1.66 million arrests in Fiscal Year 2021, which started in October 2020, was “the highest annual number ever recorded.”
CBP said that it recorded 192,001 encounters along the southern border for the month of September, a slight decrease from the previous month.
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This report has been updated to include additional information.