Republicans in the House on Thursday will introduce a bill to block a reported plan by the Biden administration to pay millions of dollars to illegal immigrants separated under the Trump administration – as President Biden has sought to dismiss the reports.
Rep. Tom McClintock, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, will introduce the Illegal Immigration Payoff Prohibition Act, which amends 18 USC 2414 – which gives the attorney general the authority to enter settlement agreements.
The bill would block the attorney general from making any settlement payments to illegal immigrants that directly arise from their violation of immigration laws, including laws that criminalize illegal border crossings and that make a migrant inadmissible for attempting to enter a country illegally at a port of entry.
The bill is co-sponsored by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan and 135 other members, and it represents a coordinated effort by House Republicans to block a reported plan by the Biden administration to pay $450,000 per migrant who was separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
“Who says crime doesn’t pay? Under Biden it apparently pays very well indeed,” McClintock said in a statement. “Law-abiding, hardworking Americans have seen their purchasing power decimated by Biden’s economic policies while he has surrendered our southern border. Paying illegal immigrants $450,000 apiece as an apology for Trump’s decision to enforce our immigration law adds insult to injury. Congress has the power of the purse, and that’s why we must act today to stop this outrageous plan in its tracks.”
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payments of $450,000 per person to those who crossed the border illegally and were separated from family members. It is in response to a lawsuit by civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
The payments could therefore amount to close to $1 million per family and $1 billion overall, although the Journal said that many families would get smaller payouts. The New York Times, which also reported the planned payments, estimated that about 5,500 children were separated from parents at the southern border under the policy.
Biden was questioned about the reports by Fox News‘ Peter Doocy on Wednesday and flatly rejected them – calling them “garbage” when asked if it would incentivize further illegal immigration.
“If you guys keep sending that garbage out? Yeah, but it’s not true,” he said.
“$450,000 per person, is that what you’re saying?” he said. “That’s not going to happen.”
But Biden’s dismissal has so far done little to end the controversy over the reports, which sparked anger from Republicans, who made comparisons with what military families and others are paid and warned that it could…
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