Friday, October 29, 2021

U.S. in Talks to Pay Hundreds of Millions to Families Separated at Border - WSJ

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said. Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child, the people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said.


This story is not as bad as it seems but it's still pretty, pretty bad. Tucker Carlson speaks of it as if the Biden administration has decided out of the goodness of its heart to pay $450K to each illegal alien who has come into our borders since sometime during the Trump administration. Instead, it looks like various US agencies are *considering* settling various lawsuits that have been filed against the US for separating alien children from their parents or other adult guardians when they crossed the border for about $450K per child. Presumably there will be some blowback from this story, so perhaps that amount will come down. And I don't know how strong the illegal alien families' cases are against the US. Is the US exposed to large statutory damages for instance? Or, alternatively, would the plaintiffs inevitably lose in court? I don't know, but that makes all the difference in reaching a settlement amount.

The DOJ and other agencies are presumably settling these lawsuits from a POV very sympathetic to the plaintiffs, which makes them seem somewhat like collusive settlements, which are typically considered unjust. Perhaps some judge will refuse to approve these settlements, though that seems unlikely. Better than this deal would be one that arose from a DOJ vigorously defending the Trump policy of separating families, though that would be hard to do, I suppose. But perhaps the decision to separate families as they did could be ameliorated. It certainly seems better on balance than a lot of what is going on now. And $450K per child seems like way too much, especially given the traditionally low amounts the US pays in compensation, for example for soldiers killed in combat, as Tucker pointed out. I'd give Tucker only a "B" on this story. He exaggerates, as is his writ, but nevertheless. Still, I'd give the DOJ a "D" or "F" for Justice, which, after all, is supposed to be their department.

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