President Joe Biden on Saturday, Nov. 6, reversed course and defended the plan by the Justice Department (DOJ) to compensate migrants split up from their families during the Trump administration.
“Whether [the border crossing] was legal or illegal, and you lost your child,” Biden said, as Fox News reported, “he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance.”
Just three days prior, the 46th U.S. president vehemently rejected the Wall Street Journal’s report that the DOJ was planning to spend up to $450,000 to each of the migrants, calling it “garbage,” and “not true.”
“If you guys keep sending that garbage out? Yeah. But it’s not true,” Biden said on Wednesday, as quoted by the New York Post. “$450,000 per person—is that what you’re saying? That’s not gonna happen.”
The WSJ said the payment was part of a settlement in a lawsuit made by civil rights groups, with the scope of the payment mounting up to $1 billion taxpayer money. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) suggested Biden “may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department.” as Fox News reported.
Likewise, Biden on Saturday readdressed that although he would not oppose the payment, he indeed was defiant about the alleged $450,000 threshold.
While nothing had been confirmed about how much the migrants may receive, a source who knows the settlement told the right-wing news agency that the alleged amount was “too high and inaccurate.”
Biden, a Democrat, has always been a staunch critic of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, a Republican, and his “zero-tolerance” border policies.
To limit and discourage illegal border crossers, the Trump administration would deport parents back to their countries without their children, who would later be sent to shelters and foster homes.
Criminals such as terrorists, deported killers, drug and human smugglers would usually exploit lax illegal migrant control to enter the U.S., Trump and most Republicans justified.
As Biden stepped into the Oval Office, he set out a task force to reunite separated families under Trump. While there had been thousands of such cases, a June report alleged the administration had only reunited seven children.