The latest prong of the Biden administration’s open borders strategy is its negotiations to give away hundreds of millions of dollars to illegal aliens. The Wall Street Journal reported on October 28 that the administration is negotiating to pay criminal illegal entrants as much as $450,000 per person, and up to almost $1,000,000 per family.
The hopeful recipients were arrested for committing a federal crime: illegal entry into the United States in violation of 8 U.S. Code §1325. When arrested, some were separated from the minors accompanying them, whom they claimed were their children. The administration justifies the proposed payments as legal settlements to compensate the illegal entrants for alleged mental trauma from having been separated from family members.
Such separations, of course, are standard when any parent is arrested and detained for any crime. For example, those imprisoned for trespassing at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were separated from their children when they were arrested.
There can be little doubt that the prospect of getting almost a million dollars from the U.S. government will further incentivize hundreds of thousands of would-be entrants from all over the world to take a chance on winning this particular lottery. Not only do illegal entrants get to stay in the United States, jumping ahead of hopeful legal immigrants, but they may get a windfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to free medical care, free public education, and other gratuitous benefits proposed by the Biden administration.
There is no doubt that even President Joe Biden understands how outrageous this proposal is. His first public comments about it show that, like millions of other Americans, he thought such payments should never even be considered. After those initial disapproving comments, however, Biden and others have tried to change the narrative. In the process, Biden has contradicted himself and made an incoherent mishmash of his policy.
After a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 meeting in Rome, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked, “Mr. President, is it true we’re going to give $450,000 to border crossers who are separated?” Biden did not respond, but just rubbed his brow and looked down.
Doocy raised the issue again at a press conference six days later, to which Biden simultaneously blamed Fox News for attracting the flood of migrants and accused it of spreading fake news about the proposed $450,000 payments: “If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah.” He then added, “But it’s not true … It will not happen.”
Doocy’s question was not a surprise, and Biden’s response was not just a careless slip of the tongue. Biden had almost a week to consider it after the initial Wall Street Journal report and Doocy’s question in Rome. Biden’s quick and unequivocal denial suggests he shares the widespread outrage at the idea of paying illegal entrants up to a million dollars per family when the only reason they had been separated was that they had broken U.S. law.
But one day later, the administration made clear that Biden was, in fact, “perfectly comfortable” with what he had just said, “will not happen.” In a press conference on November 4, Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre essentially declared Biden’s one-day-old statement “inoperative.”
“[T]he president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the United States government,” he said.
At another press conference on November 6, Biden denied saying what he had said three days earlier. When a reporter questioned him about his statement to Doocy that the report about payments was “garbage,” Biden said, “I did not say that.”
Biden then squarely contradicted his prior unequivocal denial that such payments would occur. Waving his finger at the reporter, he added, “If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you come in across the border, whether legal or illegal, and you lost your child – You lost your child! He’s gone! – you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstances. What that would be, I have no idea.”
This latest Biden statement was both dishonest and incoherent. It was dishonest because his new position that it is up to the DOJ and “I have no idea” what the payments should be cannot be reconciled with his original unambiguous promise that “possibl[e]” payments of “up to” $450 thousand per person “will not happen.”
Biden was further dishonest when he mischaracterized what Doocy had asked. Doocy said only that there had been reports that payments of “up to” that amount might “possibly” be made. Biden’s mischaracterization was a clear effort to try to wiggle out of his earlier unambiguous promise that “it will not happen.”
Biden’s November 6 statement also demonstrates the incoherence of his new thinking about the payments. He said all illegal entrants separated from a child deserve the payments, “no matter what the circumstances.” So, according to Biden, fault and illegal conduct are irrelevant; the facts do not matter. That is an incoherent prescription for unlimited payments without any boundaries.
All of those still in jail because of their alleged illegal entry into the Capitol building on January 6 will no doubt be comforted to know that that the president’s view is that they are entitled to compensation for family separation, “no matter what the circumstances.”
The proposed payments to those who have invaded our country are more evidence that this administration has its priorities wrong. If the DOJ can devote hundreds of FBI agents and U.S. attorneys to the investigations and trials of those charged with crimes in connection with their “illegal entry” into the Capitol on January 6, then surely it can devote the necessary resources to investigate and battle the grab for taxpayer money by those who have been charged with “illegal entry” into the United States.
Biden’s initial reaction shows that he shared the outrage over these payments. His handlers changed his position to serve the politics of his open border policy.