A day after President Joe Biden denied that border crossers could be paid off nearly half a million each as part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement, his White House admits that such payouts will happen “if it saves taxpayer dollars.”
Last month, reports circulated that Biden’s DOJ, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were working to settle with a number of border crossers represented by the ACLU, who claim they have suffered trauma as a result of former President Donald Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy that was briefly imposed in 2019.
As part of the settlement, attorneys with the DOJ, DHS, and HHS are considering a plan that would give each border crosser about $450,000 and family units about $1 million. The total cost of the payouts would reach $1 billion.
When asked about the payouts on Wednesday, Biden said, “that’s not going to happen.”
Biden Backs Off $450K Payouts to Border Crossers: "Not Going to Happen" pic.twitter.com/Ybf8qYKAQh
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 4, 2021
On Thursday, though, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed border crossers could secure payouts “if it saves taxpayer dollars” and suggested that Biden does not have much say in a DOJ settlement despite his comments on the issue.
“If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous of the previous administration … and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The president … what he was reacting to was the dollar figure … as press accounts today indicate, there have been press accounts on this, DOJ made clear to the plaintiffs that the reported figures are higher than anywhere that a settlement can land,” she continued.
The back-tracking from the White House on Biden’s previous comments came as the ACLU ripped into the president for denying that border crossers will secure payouts in the settlement.
“President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement.
The payouts to border crossers would be a massive win for pro-mass immigration groups and the open borders lobby – securing a settlement that would exceed the compensation rewarded to the victims of the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings.
Analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has calculated that with the money potentially going to border crossers, the federal government could feed thousands of poor American families, house tens of thousands of homeless Americans, and forgive the student loan debt of nearly 30,000 American college students and graduates.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.