White House backs down on Biden’s comments on migrant family payments

The White House on Thursday returned President BidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MOREThe previous day’s comments that the administration would not be paying migrants separated at the border during the last administration $ 450,000 each, clarifying that the government would be willing to reach an out-of-court settlement with those families.

“If you save taxpayers money and leave behind the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of zero tolerance and family separation, the President is perfectly comfortable with the Justice Department coming to terms with the people and families currently in dispute with the United States. government, “White House Chief Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierrePsaki news highlights security risks and protocols for Biden Democrats facing ire from women over loss of paid leave Biden puts presidency at stake with House of Representatives MORE he told reporters.

Biden was asked Wednesday about reports that his administration was contemplating a payment of approximately $ 450,000 per person for separated migrant parents and children.

“That is not going to happen,” he told reporters when asked about the reported plan.

Jean-Pierre claimed Thursday that Biden was specifically reacting to the $ 450,000 figure that was mentioned when asked about it.

“As the press reports to date indicate, the Justice Department made it clear to the plaintiffs that the reported figures are higher than anywhere a settlement could land,” he said.

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden on Wednesday if the payments could encourage migrants to flock to the United States.

“If they keep sending that junk, yeah,” Biden said. “But it is not true.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a statement suggested that Biden had not reported on the actions of his own Justice Department, and further argued that the president would be turning his back on a central campaign promise to provide a measure of justice for the separated. under Trump’s policy.

The potential payments would come as the government faces numerous lawsuits from families separated under the Trump administration’s policy, which saw thousands of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“This stems from the cruel, inhuman and immoral policies of the last administration against the just people,” said Jean-Pierre. “It’s separating children from their families … This is how we got here thanks to the last administration. This is what we are trying to deal with here in this administration.”

Republican lawmakers have berated the Biden administration for reports of possible payments.

However, legal experts told The Washington Post that settling with the families could be less costly than allowing the cases to unfold in court, where more details about the government’s harsh treatment of children could also emerge. migrants.

Biden, early in his presidency, formed a task force to reunite families still separated as a result of Trump-era politics. The head of the task force, Michelle Brane, told “60 Minutes” last month that the group has reunited 52 families since February.


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