President BidenJoe BidenHouse Passes 1 Trillion Infrastructure Bills, Advances Social Spending Plan Virginia Democrats Concede Loss of State House Liberals, Moderate Strike Deal on Biden’s Agenda, Clearing the Way for MORE votes on Saturday he vigorously offered his support to compensate migrant families separated under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, clarifying that his problem days before was with the dollar amount that had been reported.
“Now here’s the question. If in fact, due to the scandalous behavior of the last administration, you crossed the border, legal or illegal, and lost your son,” Biden said, wagging a finger and raising his voice. . “You lost your son. He’s gone. You deserve some kind of compensation, no matter the circumstances. I have no idea what that will be.”
Biden’s passionate comments came during a press conference on the passage of a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. He was asked about his comments earlier in the week when asked about reports that his administration was preparing to pay separated families up to $ 450,000 per individual, which Biden said “will not happen.”
The president said Saturday that he was referring specifically to the dollar amount that had been reported, not the concept of fully compensating separated families.
The payments would come as part of settlements with separated families suing the government for treatment during the Trump administration when it enacted its zero-tolerance policy at the border. According to the policy, thousands of children were separated from their parents and placed in shelters while the adults were processed.
The White House said Thursday 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, “the White House Chief Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-Pierre White House Says Biden Will Sign Infrastructure Bill As Soon As He Receives It 12:30 PM Report From The Hill: House Democrats Push For A Vote On Infrastructure Bill Watch Live : Senior Deputy Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds press conference MORE told reporters.
Republican lawmakers have berated the Biden administration for reports of possible payments.
However, some 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 them 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.