WASHINGTON, D.C. – After news surfaced that the administration of President Joe Biden is considering paying migrants who were separated from their families while illegally crossing the U.S. border $450,000 each in restitution, dozens of House GOP members demanded answers to what they referred to as a “horrific decision.”
45 House Republicans sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, outlining the “severe concerns” they collectively have over the proposed payment plan, which could come close to $1 million per family.
The Journal stated the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services are “considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family,” though final payment amounts could change as some “families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances.”
“I was incredulous when I read the report that the Biden Administration wants to send half a million dollar checks to illegal immigrants who broke our laws” said Rep. Murphy. “It is unconscionable that this would even be a consideration right now as American families are hurting because of President Biden’s failed policies. I am grateful to my colleagues who quickly rallied behind our effort to demand that DHS, DHHS, and the DOJ immediately reject $450,000 compensation for illegals – a truly asinine, pro-crime idea that will incentivize illegal immigration and open the floodgates for a surge at the border. President Biden must provide answers as to why this Administration cares more about people who knowingly and unlawfully entered into our country illegally than the American people.”
Among the GOP members who have signed the letter are Reps. Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC), Andy Biggs (AZ), Elise Stefanik (NY), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Richard Hudson (NC), Tom McClintock (CA), Tim Burchett (TN), David McKinley (WV), David Rouzer (NC), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Diana Harshbarger (TN), Victoria Spartz (IN), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D., (IA), Ted Budd (NC), Jack Bergman (MI), Glenn Grothman (WI), Rick Crawford (AR), Jeff Duncan (SC), Bob Gibbs (OH), Gus Bilirakis (FL), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Brian Mast (FL), Troy Balderson (OH), Pete Stauber (MN), Pete Sessions (TX), Lauren Boebert (CO), Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX), Vern Buchanan (FL), Ann Wagner (MO), Mike Garcia (CA), Sam Graves (MO), Morgan Griffith (VA), Bob Good (VA), Dan Bishop (NC), Guy Reschenthaler (PA), Van Taylor (TX), John Moolenaar (MI), Bill Huizenga (MI), Doug Lamborn (CO), Roger Williams (TX), Jim Hagedorn (MN), Claudia Tenney (NY), Louie Gohmert (TX), and Dan Crenshaw (TX).
“The rationale for this egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars is to compensate these persons for ‘lasting psychological trauma,’” the letter says. “Do, however, note that these persons crossed into our country in a knowingly illegal manner, fully aware of the consequences of violating our rule of law. Promising tens of thousands of dollars to those who unlawfully entered the United States would not only reward criminal behavior, but it would surely send a message to the world that our borders are open and our rule of law will not be enforced.”
The lawmakers blamed Biden for the current surge of migrants – calling it the “the worst self-inflicted border crisis in history” – due to the fact that he struck down several Trump-era polices that had kept the flow of illegal migrants effectively under control; as a result, August alone saw Border Patrol agents confront a record 200,000 illegal crossings.
The GOP letter also claimed that the Biden administration “has been incentivizing illegal immigration since its first day in office” and compared the proposed $450,000 migrant payout to the financial situation of the average American citizen.
“Compare this hefty compensation sum to the 2019 average median American household annual income of $68,703. Furthermore, compare it to the maximum payout from a SGLI life insurance policy for military members, which is $400,000,” the letter said. “At a time when the American household is dealing with historic rates of inflation and the price of average consumer goods have risen exponentially, it’s shocking that our government is considering rewarding illegal activity for purely political reasons.”
The House GOP members also questioned why the payouts were not being considered for migrants separated under the Obama or Biden administrations, saying, “Why is this potential compensation for families separated in 2018 under the previous administration and not those separated between 2008-2016 or since 2021?”