According to reports, President Joe Biden’s administration is considering compensating families separated at the US-Mexico border with $450,000 each for psychological suffering.
The Wall Street Journal originally reported that the US Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payouts after being sued over President Donald Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border.
In April 2018, the Trump administration announced its “zero tolerance” policy, which said that any migrant attempting to cross the US border illegally will be arrested and prosecuted.
People seeking refuge must show that they had no choice but to flee their home country in order to avoid persecution or the threat of persecution. Previously, asylum seekers were allowed to stay in the United States until their claims were considered. Many of these asylum seekers were arrested, separated from their children, and deported home without them under Trump’s administration.
Thousands of children were separated from their parents as a result of Trump’s policy, according to immigration groups.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the administration, requesting that the children be reunited with their parents. A judge overturned the policy, and numerous families were reunited as a result. The $450,000 payouts would be a form of compensation for the families.
Trump’s approach, according to the ACLU, has harmed nearly 5,500 migrant families. The group has petitioned the Biden administration to “create resources and reparation funds that include coverage of trauma-informed mental health services,” according to the petition.
The petition also requests that the federal government locate missing parents and establish a road to citizenship for the families. The ACLU’s petition also requests a probe and “systemic changes to end family separations.” The petition has been signed by over 72,000 people.
“The Biden administration is correct to grant relief to the children and families afflicted by the government’s cruel practice of family separation,” ACLU lead counsel Lee Gelernt said in a statement to Forbes about the petition. Their misery will be with them for the rest of their lives, and it is a grave moral stain on our country. We need to put things right, which entails not only financial assistance but also a plan to stay here. This is the right and just thing to do.”
Republican lawmakers have lambasted the proposal, which could pay a family of two up to $1 million. Many people believe that it will increase illegal immigration. Others have referred to the unsubstantiated payments as “immigrant reparations.”
Republicans contend that the compensation for immigrants would be four times that of families who lose a loved one in the military. According to Fox News, it also outperforms the Servicemember Group Life Insurance (SGLI), which pays out a maximum of $400,000 and requires service members to pay into it.
“Who needs $300 a month when President Biden wants to send illegal immigrants for $450,000 per person?” Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, stated. “That’s four and a half times the amount paid to survivors of service members killed in action by the Department of Defense.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Department of Homeland Security counsel warned that the payouts to separated immigrants could be more than the $2 million payouts given to relatives of 9/11 victims. Officials, on the other hand, stated that the US government was not to blame for 9/11.
The NAACP and other Black-led organizations have yet to comment on Biden’s alleged plan and the campaign for slavery reparations.
When asked about the settlement suggestions by reporters recently, Biden remained silent.