Over the past few months, the Biden administration has been “in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.”
The Wall Street Journal spoke exclusively with “people familiar with the matter.” The discussion is specifically around families that were “part of a so-called zero-tolerance enforcement policy” during which “immigration agents separated thousands of children ranging from infants to teenagers, from their parents at the southern border in 2018 after they had crossed illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S.”
A potential payout of $1 billion or more could be given to families from the lawsuits who say the separations under the U.S. government “subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.” Government agencies working to resolve the lawsuits include the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.
The agencies are “considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said.” Most families that crossed illegally into the U.S. from Mexico included one parent and one child, the people said. “Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said.”
Many lawsuits “describe lasting mental-health problems for the children from the trauma of the months without their parents in harsh conditions, including anxiety, a fear of strangers and nightmares. The lawsuits seek a range of payouts, with the average demand being roughly $3.4 million per family, some of the people said.”
Some government lawyers have viewed the payouts as excessive for people who have violated the law by crossing the border, the people said.” Additionally, “One government lawyer threatened to remove his name from the case out of disagreement with the potential settlement offer, the people said.”
In another instance, a Department of Homeland Security attorney involved “complained on a conference call that the payouts could amount to more than some families of 9/11 victims received.”
“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 must include not only meaningful monetary compensation but a pathway to remain in the country,” added Gelernt.
You may like
DHS Secretary Mayorkas Says We Cannot Remove ‘11 Million Undocumented Individuals’ Unlawfully in U.S.
Troubling details were unearthed during the questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley asked Mayorkas about a DHS memo from September 30 which reads: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”
“Does that reasoning apply to the [1.2] million illegal immigrants who have received due process and been given a final order of removal by an immigration judge?” Grassley asked Mayorkas.
“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals, individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who might not have final orders of removal” Mayorkas answered.
Mayorkas also stated that he had issued the due process policy after drawing on “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security but as a federal prosecutor.”
Grassley pressed Mayorkas, asking, “should any of them be removed?”
“Of course,” Mayorkas said. “I do believe that individuals who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat, should be removed, and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources, and we should focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal.”
In his opening statements, Grassley addressed Mayorkas and stated, “When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that.”
Grassley continued, “When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands.”
You may like
Immigration2 months ago
Governors demand Biden take action on the border
Environment2 months ago
California bans gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers, opting to be zero emission by 2024
Elections4 weeks ago
GOP Takes Back Virginia and Winsome Sears Makes History as First Lieutenant Governor Woman of Color
COVID-191 month ago
Almost 100 Employees At Yale New Haven Health Fired For Being Unvaccinated