Biden Flip-Flops, Supports Payouts to Illegal Aliens
FAIR Take | November 2021
On October 28, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that the Justice Department planned to give some illegal aliens payments of $450,000 each. The eligible illegal aliens are those whom the U.S. government “separated” in 2018 when the Trump administration initiated its so-called “zero tolerance” policy that criminally prosecuted all illegal aliens for crossing the border. The total cost to taxpayers could tally well over $1 billion.
The reaction was swift. In a press release, FAIR’s president Dan Stein noted that:
Turning illegal migrants, who in many cases elected to leave their children here as unaccompanied minors when they were returned home, into instant millionaires at the expense of American taxpayers is an outrage. Offering 4.5 times as much as the 13 service members who died outside of Kabul airport, during Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, is just plain obscene.
The press held President Biden accountable as well. Peter Doocy from Fox News asked President Biden whether the reporting was accurate. The President said “that’s not going to happen,” referring to the reported payments. However, the White House backtracked on those comments days later. Then, on November 4, a White House spokesperson said that President Biden is “perfectly comfortable” paying illegal aliens $450,000 each. The spokesperson provided a quote to the Wall Street Journal, stating:
If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of zero tolerance and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government.
To recap: President Biden said in a press conference that these absurd payments would not happen, and then moments later his White House spokesperson claimed that he is in fact “perfectly comfortable” with the payments. Is Biden in control of his own White House and his own executive branch agencies? Following this episode, it does not appear so.
Republican lawmakers also blasted the plan to pay illegal aliens $450,000 each. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) led 27 Senators – including Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – in a letter condemning the Biden administration for this outrageous settlement agreement. Senator Daines also introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would bar any taxpayer dollars from going toward payments of any kind for illegal aliens.
Since taking over in January 2021, President Biden has presided over chaos in every facet of our immigration system. The decision to pursue awarding $450,000 to every illegal alien affected by the zero-tolerance policy in 2018 is yet another example of this.