FAIR Issue Brief | America Fleeced: Biden’s Proposed Payments to Illegal Aliens Would Exceed Programs for American Citizens
Research Department | November 2021
The Wall Street Journal reported on October 28 that President Biden is engaging in settlement talks with the families of illegal aliens who were separated at the southern border during President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
According to the report, the administration is considering sending $450,000 to each of these immigration lawbreakers – and nearly $1 million to some families. The total cost of this program will likely amount to more than $1 billion.
The Trump administration implemented the policy to stop the increasing number of family apprehensions that began in 2015. This trend was triggered when U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the Flores Settlement, which prohibited DHS from holding unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs) in immigration detention facilities longer than 20 days, also applied to minors who are accompanied by an adult family member.
It is disturbing that the Biden administration, under any circumstance, would consider offering large payouts to those who violated our immigration laws. It is unconscionable that they plan to do so during a time when tens of millions of Americans are struggling economically, remain unemployed, or are underemployed due to a sluggish economic recovery from COVID-19, as well as growing supply chain and inflation issues.
Furthermore, the proposed amounts to be distributed are inexplicably immense, and could turn families that illegally crossed our borders into millionaires. For comparison’s sake, here are five areas where American citizens receive far less than $450,000 from the federal government for pain and suffering that does not stem from their own decision to break the law:
- $100,000 – The amount paid to the survivors of a U.S. armed service member who dies while on active duty. President Biden is proposing that taxpayers give immigration lawbreakers 4.5 times more money than is given to the survivors of those who pay the ultimate sacrifice.
- $400,000 – The maximum amount provided to the families of fallen military members who made payments into the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program. Even in a situation where servicemembers pay their own money into a benefits program, their families will receive less than what a single illegal alien would receive from the federal government should this settlement take effect.
- $50,000 – The amount paid to an individual who is wrongly imprisoned for one year at the federal level. Under this proposal, illegal aliens who did violate our laws would be given far more compensation than is provided to American citizens who were separated from their families for a year or more because of something they did not do.
- $389,825 – The average amount provided by the federal government to the survivors of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders who die in the line of duty. Again, this is a much lower amount than what would be provided to immigration lawbreakers under this Biden plan. In fact, some illegal alien families could receive more than twice that amount.
- $250,000 – The maximum “non-economic loss” amount paid to 9/11 victims who contracted cancer from the attack. The maximum non-economic loss amount paid to those who suffered ailments other than cancer is only $90,000. Also, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attorney, some surviving families of individuals who died in the 9/11 attacks likely received less from the federal government than President Biden hopes to offer these illegal aliens.
Additionally, below are a few areas where this money could be better used than rewarding lawbreakers and incentivizing additional illegal immigration:
- For the cost of the entire program, approximately 278,000 children could receive Medicaid for one year. For the payout proposed to a single illegal alien, roughly 125 children could receive Medicaid for an entire year.
- With the average American family of four spending approximately $10,680/year on groceries; the Biden administration could feed 42 families for a year with the money he hopes to offer a single illegal alien.
- According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, supportive housing for a homeless individual would cost approximately $12,800. That means that approximately 78,125 homeless individuals could be provided with housing for an entire year for the cost of this proposed program.
- The average college graduate racks up approximately $37,000 in student loans. Considering this project is estimated to cost more than $1 billion, the Biden administration could use these funds to address a pet project of most Democrats and clear outstanding student debt for more than 27,000 American citizens.
The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress continue to show their true colors by prioritizing and rewarding illegal aliens over struggling U.S. citizens every chance they get. This latest example of arrogant disregard for our immigration laws trumpets an unmistakable message from President Biden to prospective illegal aliens: “If you come to America the wrong way, I will not only protect you from deportation, I also just might give you amnesty and a bag of cash bigger than what most Americans will ever receive in their lifetimes.”
Meanwhile, millions of American citizens and lawful migrants (who came here the right way) continue to deal with unemployment, record inflation, and an administration that clearly does not have their best interests at heart.