'Slap in the Face': DeSantis Raps 'Biden Plan to Give $450K to Migrant Families Separated at Border'
Last week, a group of House Republicans reportedly argued in a letter that the US border crisis stemmed from the Biden administration stimulating immigration "since its first day in office" by reversing the restrictive measures implemented by former President Donald Trump.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said he is "very concerned" over reports that the Biden administration plans to pay hefty compensation to migrant families
separated at the border.
"I've seen a lot in my day — I've seen a lot that's happened over the last nine or ten months that I didn't think I'd ever see — but this takes the cake. If that [the proposed payout] is done, that is going to be a slap in the face to every American who works hard and plays by the rules", DeSantis told reporters on Monday.
He added that such a payment would "especially [be] a slap in the face to people that have immigrated legally to this country”.
"That should not be allowed to stand. It's wrong, and whatever we can do in Florida to fight back against it, we will do", De Santis underscored.
House Republicans Warn WH Against 'Rewarding Illegal Activity'
This came after House Republicans penned a letter to three secretaries in President Joe Biden's cabinet to express "severe concerns" about the reported compensation.
19 October 2021, 08:08 GMT
According to the letter seen by Fox News and addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, attention should be paid to the migrants having crossed the US border illegally.
The lawmakers stressed that the promise of huge allowances would "not only reward criminal behaviour, but it would surely send a message to the world that our borders are open and our rule of law will not be enforced".
They reportedly noted that the border crisis was triggered by the Biden administration's policies that have been stimulating immigration "since its first day in office" by reversing the restrictive measures implemented by the previous administration.
The congressmen suggested comparing the alleged payments with the 2019 average median household income of $68,703 or "the maximum payout from an SGLI life insurance policy for military members, which is $400,000".
"At a time when the American household is dealing with historic rates of inflation and the price of average consumer goods – groceries, gasoline, and heating – have risen exponentially, it's shocking that our government is considering rewarding illegal activity for purely political reasons", the lawmakers said.
The letter followed The Wall Street Journal reporting last Thursday that the Biden administration is considering compensation for illegal migrants, $450,000 each, and up to $1 million per family, after many of them filed appeals with the government for allegedly causing psychological trauma by separating them from their family members at the southern border.
The amount of the payouts may be changed and differ from family to family, with the total figure reportedly standing at a maximum of $1 million. Some of the payments may exceed those that were allocated to the families of the 9/11 terror attack victims, according to US media reports.
The Biden administration has already purportedly received around 940 claims from families separated by law enforcement at the border, with the attorneys for the families involved in the legal proceedings reportedly negotiating possible settlements that are expected to be concluded by the end of November.
Biden Orders 'Reunification of Families' Near Border
In early February, Biden ordered to establish an inter-agency task force for "reunification of families" along the southern border, setting a 120-day deadline to submit an initial report.
This came after then-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in 2018 that Washington had adopted a "zero-tolerance policy" for immigration offences that required prosecution of all illegal entry referrals at the southwest border
, including misdemeanours, regardless of whether the migrant adult was with a family unit.
25 September 2021, 17:24 GMT
Shortly after assuming office in January 2021, Biden began to reverse Trump's hardline immigration policies, halting construction of a border wall, moving to end "harsh and extreme immigration enforcement", and promising to "restore and expand" the asylum system.
Other moves included rescinding the Trump travel ban and promising a "path to citizenship" for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the US.