The families in the lawsuit allege emotional distress and trauma after being separated during Trump’s years in power.
The Biden administration is reportedly negotiating a plan to offer $ 450,000 per person to migrant families who were separated at the southern border of the United States as part of predecessor Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Quoting people familiar with the matter, the Wall street journal reported Thursday that Homeland Security, the Departments of Justice, as well as Health and Human Services are considering paying what could be close to $ 1 million per family in settlements, as most separated families were made up of a father and a child.
The move, according to the report, is part of an effort to settle lawsuits on behalf of parents and children who were separated after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.
According to the WSJ, the families, 940 so far, allege that parents and children suffer emotional distress, trauma and long-term psychological damage, due to separation, over years in many cases.
The development also comes amid mounting pressure on Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promise to reform the immigration system and nullify Trump’s anti-immigration legacy.
The Trump administration, which made restricting immigration a primary goal of his presidency, imposed a so-called zero tolerance policy along the border in April 2018 to deter undocumented immigrants from crossing into the United States.
Under the policy, which made crossing the border a crime, the adults were prosecuted and subjected to removal proceedings. The children, including infants, were held in temporary detention centers and then flown or bussed to other locations in the US Many were placed with foster families.
The policy generated widespread outrage and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the Trump administration over the policy. He said that more than 5,500 families were separated by the “cruel” policy.
The Trump administration dropped the practice in June 2018. But human rights groups say the separations began before the policy was officially announced and continued after its termination.
ACLU Says Hundreds of Families Remain pulled apart. The group said the Trump administration did not keep complete records of parents’ information and contact details, making it difficult to locate them.
Shortly after taking office, the Biden administration announced a workgroup that is in charge of uniting families that are still separated. It is not clear exactly how many families remain separated.
The Biden administration has also allowed parents who have been separated from their children to come to the US and stay 0 if they choose.
Immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border is at its highest in 20 years, and the Biden administration has been struggling to craft a coherent policy.
He has been facing pressure from Republican leaders who blame Biden for the increase, saying it is to blame for repealing Trump’s restrictive border policies.
The Biden administration has also faced mounting criticism from immigration advocates who say it has not done enough to reverse Trump’s legacy.
Despite criticizing the zero tolerance policy as “unfair,” the Biden administration continues to rely on Title 42, another Trump-era policy that allows immediate deportation of asylum seekers at the border, without the ability to file a petition. application. The rule cites the need to protect the country from further spread of the coronavirus.
But the administration has exempted children traveling alone and without a parent from Title 42 expulsions. Minors arriving at the border have been allowed to apply for asylum. And as long as they have a family member or sponsor in the US, they were able to enter the country to continue their claim.