Mixed messages are coming from President Joe Biden and the White House over the reported $450,000 the Justice Department plans to pay some illegal immigrants. White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday appeared to suggest that Biden is okay with the Justice Department settling with illegal immigrants who were separated at the border. Biden had previously said one day before that such reports are “garbage,” and that it’s “not going to happen.”
The Justice Department is telling attorneys representing separated families that the reported settlement figures are too high. In 2019, the ACLU sued the government, seeking damages for the toll separations took on families. Attorneys representing families have also filed lawsuits. More than 3,000 children were separated from their families at the border under Trump’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy. According to a federal court filing, attorneys are still looking for the parents of 270 migrant children.
And we sat down with John Fonte, senior fellow and director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, to hear his take on the situation. Fonte said: “This is actually fairly incredible. These are people that have violated American law across the border, which is a violation of our law of the Immigration and Control Act. And they’re being rewarded—or the discussion is to reward them—for violating the law.” He added: “And by the end of the year, there might be a million and a half people who have entered illegally. We don’t know who they are, and even now, where they are. So it’s an absolute catastrophe.”
Tune into Deep Dive as we explore these topics and more.