Late last week, after ten months of negotiations, the Biden Administration withdrew from settlement talks aimed at providing financial compensation to families who’d been separated at the border by the government of Donald Trump. The move was a shock even to current and former administration officials.
Previously, the President had left little room to doubt what he thought of the Trump Administration’s decision to deliberately take some four thousand children from their parents in order to intimidate future asylum seekers. It was criminal, abhorrent, and violates every notion of who we are as a nation, Biden has said. Last month, he said of the parents, “You deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what.
The growing skittishness about appearing too lax at the border. Another is Fox News. In October, the Wall Street Journal reported that advocates were asking the government to consider giving four hundred and fifty thousand dollars to each family member that had been separated under Trump’s zero-tolerance policy.
According to sources, the D.O.J. hadn’t agreed to it, and the government’s opening bid in the negotiations, which remains undisclosed, was substantially lower.
While American families are struggling, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “the President now wants to make millionaires out of people who crossed the border illegally.” Together with three other Republican senators, McConnell went on to introduce a bill to block any payments.
They called it the “Protect American Taxpayer Dollars from Illegal Immigration Act,” On November 3rd, a Fox News reporter asked Biden about the Journal story at a press conference. It was garbage Biden replied, dismissing the reports as inaccurate. This it turned out was a significant gaffe.
The President was not appropriately briefed a former. As soon as that news leaked, he should have been briefed not to comment. A few days later, once Biden had been informed that the figure had in fact, come up in settlement talks the President corrected himself.
He reasserted his belief that the families separated by Trump should receive some form of compensation; he just wasn’t sure what an appropriate amount might be. Privately, though, officials at the White House argued that moving ahead with a settlement had become a greater political liability than any potential fallout from a broken promise.
On Sunday Migrants have the right to request asylum wherever they cross along the U.S.-Mexico border, whether at or between ports of entry, but Mirian had decided to come in through the front door. After giving border agents a sheaf of identification documents, she and her son went to sleep in a small cell, where they were roused the next morning.
Two months and eleven days passed before they were reunited. He didn’t seem to recognize her when the social worker finally handed him back to her. During their time apart, he’d been placed with a foster mother to whom he’d quickly grown an attachment
The administration, despite the President’s explicit promises, has not restored any semblance of asylum. The worst part is that Biden has said over and over what he thinks is right; then he chooses to do something else entirely.
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