by Mary Kay Linge, New York Post
President Biden flared in anger Saturday as he spoke in favor of his administration’s plan to award $450,000 payments to migrants separated from their families after illegally crossing the US border — three days after he called a report on the payouts “garbage.”
Blaming “the outrageous behavior of the last administration,” Biden raised his voice and jabbed his finger at Fox News correspondent David Spunt, who asked about the administration’s mixed messaging on the payout policy.
“Whether [the border crossing] was legal or illegal, and you lost your child,” Biden thundered. “You lost your child, it’s gone — you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance.
“What that will be,” he added, “I have no idea.”
The Biden administration has been negotiating legal settlements with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups that could shower up to $1 million per family on asylum seekers who were separated at the border under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” illegal immigration policy.
“That’s not gonna happen,” Biden said flatly on Wednesday, when Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked him about the Wall Street Journal’s initial report on the developing deal.
“You guys keep sending that garbage out?” the president said. “But it’s not true.”
President Biden became angry as he spoke in favor of his administration's plan to award $450,000 payments to migrants separated from their families.
The ACLU issued a pointed response, suggesting that Biden was out of the loop and “may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department.”
“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,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero protested. “We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy.”
On Thursday, the White House attempted to walk Biden’s denial back.
“The president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the US government,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The proposed financial settlements have infuriated Republicans, who introduced a bill to block the massive payouts, calling them “disastrous.”
“Once again, [Biden] either lied or has no idea what’s going on,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI/Bkln) tweeted Friday. “Americans don’t bust their asses & pay taxes so Democrats can give their $ to those who disrespect our borders and break our laws.”