Biden Admin Weighs on Paying 'Hundreds of Millions' to Separated Migrant Families on Border Under Trump Policy
Separated migrants on the border may be compensated as the Biden administration weighs paying separated migrant parents and children under a Trump policy.
Sources familiar with the negotiations told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that thousands of dollars could be compensated to separated migrants due to Trump's zero-tolerance policy, as several agencies work to resolve the lawsuits presented by lawyers on behalf of parents and children.
Biden Admin May Pay Separated Migrant Families on Border
According to the sources, around $450,000 payment could be issued per immigrant who was separated from their family by Trump's zero-tolerance policy, Fox News reported. This means that if a migrant parent and child were separated, they would be eligible for a combined payment of $900,000.
Moreover, the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are "considering" payments that could reach up to $1 million per family. However, final payouts may still change, as some of the migrant families would likely get smaller amounts depending on their circumstances.
Although sources said that the three agencies weigh on paying around $1 million per family, they also emphasized that the total amount of the payments is still unclear as the negotiations continue.
However, a source highlighted that if enough migrant parents and children were located, the Biden administration may pay "hundreds of millions of dollars" to compensate them for what they went through.
In 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) mentioned that at least 2,654 immigrant children were separated from their guardians or parents. But according to sources on Thursday, at least 940 claims have been filed by migrant families who were separated by the Trump policy on the border.
"These families, particularly young children, were deliberately traumatized by our government and deserve not only adequate compensation but the chance to remain here so they can begin to heal," said attorney Lee Gelernt from ACLU. Gelernt is representing separated families in a federal lawsuit.
Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy
In April 2018, the Trump Administration announced the effectiveness of the zero-tolerance policy, although it had a pilot program in 2017. Under this policy, every immigrant who attempted to cross the U.S. borders other than the official port of entry was detained and criminally prosecuted.
The move resulted in the separation of adult migrants from children whom they accompanied to traverse the U.S. without authorization. More than 5,600 children were separated from their parents after they attempted to cross the borders illegally together.
To date, the White House estimated that over 1,000 migrant families are still separated from each other, as parents were deported back to their home country while their children were left in the United States most of the time. Furthermore, more than 300 parents are still not located by the federal authorities and separated from their children.
To address the issue, the Biden administration established a task force that would reunite separated migrant families. However, the said task force has reunited over 50 families so far.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written By: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Inside a Young Migrant's Family Separation Nightmare - From The New York Times
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