‘Garbage’: Biden insists $450K payments for migrants separated at the border are ‘not going to happen’

The Tampa Free Press says President Joe Biden is denying a report that claims his administration is teeing up payments of up to $450,000 for undocumented migrants who were separated at the U.S.–Mexico border under his predecessor’s policies.

But while Biden is apparently walking back the proposal, reports on it have been confirmed by multiple sources and media outlets, and even by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was reportedly involved in negotiations on the settlements and actually called out the president for either being ignorant of or backtracking on the idea.

“Not going to happen”

It was last week that the Wall Street Journal first revealed that the White House was in talks to give up to $450,000 per person in reparations for migrant families temporarily separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policies.

On Wednesday, after Biden wrapped up a speech about approving COVID-19 vaccines for young children, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed the president on the Journal‘s report, asking if the purported settlements “might incentivize more people to come over illegally?”

“If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah,” Biden replied, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “But it’s not true.”

Doocy hit back: “So, this is a garbage report?”

But the president remained firm. “Yeah,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.”

ACLU fires back

Alas, it seems there was either some miscommunication between Biden’s people and the ACLU — or Biden simply had no idea what he was talking about when he issued the shocking and unmistakable denial.

According to Fox News, Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said in a statement to the network that if Biden indeed walks back the proposal, he’d be “abandoning a core campaign promise.”

“President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy,” Romero told Fox. “But if he follows through on what he said, the president is abandoning a core campaign promise to do justice for the thousands of separated families.”

Romero added:

We respectfully remind President Biden that he called these actions “criminal” in a debate with then-President Trump and campaigned on remedying and rectifying the lawlessness of the Trump administration. We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy.

It’ll be interesting to see how Biden’s communications team tries to spin this one.

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