Biden’s DHS Chief Seemingly Defends $450K Payouts to Border Crossers

Alejandro Mayorkas
Drew Angerer/PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, seemingly defended $450,000 payouts to each border crosser subjected to former President Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy.

Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS) are working to settle with a number of border crossers represented by the ACLU, who claim they have suffered trauma as a result of the Zero Tolerance policy.

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.

On Tuesday, Mayorkas seemingly defended such payouts to border crossers.

When asked about the payouts by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mayorkas said, “I think the American public was united in its condemnation of the family separation policy of this prior administration and it is that public that will constitute a jury in any trial.”

Though Mayorkas told Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) he could not “opine on” what an “appropriate outcome of that litigation” should be but repeatedly denounced the policy, he did not voice opposition to such payouts.

“I know that the cases that are before the Department of Justice, to which you are referring … the family separation policy that received bipartisan condemnation, and quite frankly, the condemnation of the American public,” Mayorkas said.

“What is an appropriate outcome of that litigation in response of the family separation policy, the cruel policy, is something I cannot opine on,” he continued.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) noted that about 50 miles of border wall could be constructed with the $1 billion that the Biden administration may deliver to border crossers. Likewise, Blackburn said more than 15,000 Border Patrol agents could be hired with the money and about 7,200 immigration judges.

Americans, surveys show, are overwhelmingly opposed to the payouts.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey found that about 2-in-3 swing voters oppose providing $450,000 to each border crosser subjected to the Zero Tolerance policy. Nearly 6-in-10 of all likely voters said they oppose the payouts.

As Breitbart News has noted, the $450,000 payouts to border crossers would far exceed the compensation provided to the victims of the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks and of the Boston Marathon bombings.

In addition, analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) calculated that the single payout for a border crosser under the proposal could feed 42 American families for an entire year.

Meanwhile, the total cost of the payouts could provide homes to nearly 80,000 homeless Americans for a year or could forgive student loan debt for more than 27,000 American college students and graduates who are struggling to move up the economic ladder.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.


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