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.”
Biden raised his voice and jabbed his finger at Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, 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 pay up to $1 million per family of 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 Doocy asked him about the initial report.
On Thursday, the White House attempted to walk Biden’s denial back — after the ACLU suggested that he “may not have been fully briefed” about his own administration’s intentions.
“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.
House Republicans have introduced a bill to block the massive payouts, calling the plan “disastrous.”