Earlier this month, as he seldom does, President Joe Biden took non-scripted questions from a reporter he wasn’t instructed to call on. A reporter asked the President about a Wall Street Journal report that revealed his administration was considering $450,000 payments to some 5,500 children and their illegal alien families who were allegedly separated when they crossed the southern border illegally while the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” was in effect. The President, in his trademark “C’mon Man” fashion, called the proposal “garbage” and vowed it is “not going to happen.”
It was clear from the back and forth with the reporter, Mr. Biden hadn’t been briefed on the matter nor provided a card with a scripted response he could read. What we saw was a rare moment where Mr. Biden expressed his own thoughts about an issue to the American people. And in that brief moment, the overwhelming majority of Americans agreed with the President – large-scale payments to illegal aliens are “garbage.”
The Biden administration’s plan to reward illegal activity through payments estimated to total about $1 billion is one of the most egregious actions proposed by the administration to date and arguably in U.S. history. It is outright offensive to American taxpayers who would have to shoulder the additional financial burden to further fund this administration’s ideological open borders agenda.
After the president dismissed the proposal and went as far as to accuse the media of fueling the false reporting, the White House, as is typical with this administration, attempted to convince the American public that he didn’t mean what he actually said – because they knew it was true. They just hadn’t told their boss. It’s generous to say the White House scrambled to “walk back” the President’s comments. They went into full spin mode, saying that he was “perfectly comfortable” paying separated families. In their standard dismissive and condescending style, the administration expected us to blindly accept that his “garbage” comment actually meant the President fully supported the proposal. It’s B.S., and the American people know it is. Lying to the American people is just another factor, among countless others, why his approval ratings have plummeted.
When changing the Webster’s definition of “garbage” didn’t work, they punted the issue to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which admitted that reparations were very much on the table, but that the totals reported in the media “are higher than anywhere that settlement can land.” They were now in full D.C. swamp spin mode – ironically doing their best to undo the mess created by a moment of honesty from the president, who was apparently unaware of what his own DOJ was up to.
In the end, Mr. Biden — who was finally clued in on the talking points provided by a fringe group of open borders advocates — conceded that large payouts to illegal aliens is his administration’s policy and used the bully pulpit of the White House to do so. The American public saw the president of the United States being manipulated by ideological fringe groups to facilitate their political aims. It was shameless and pathetic.
The proposed $450,000 settlements exceed the compensation offered to many Americans deserving of our nation’s support. These payments would be 4.5 times larger than what our government pays to the survivors of U.S. service members killed in action and are about ten times greater than what is paid to innocent people falsely convicted of a crime and who have spent time in prison as a result. These payments top what some families of 9/11 victims have received. It’s simply offensive.
What’s even more offensive (and ignored) is that the DOJ has never compensated Angel Families who have lost loved ones at the hands of illegal aliens, many of whom were known criminal offenders. These families have been permanently separated from their children. Yet DOJ hasn’t provided them a single cent. The hypocrisy is indefensible.
The administration is also hiding from the American people that many parents refuse to be united with their children after being processed for illegally entering the country, allowing them to remain here as unaccompanied minors and wards of the American taxpayers. In other words, many parents who could have been reunited willingly kept themselves separated from their children so that they could remain in the U.S. Now those same parents stand to become prosperous for their actions.
Mr. Biden’s initial reaction to his administration’s illegal alien payment proposal was genuine and aligned with what most Americans believe about the plan: It’s “garbage.” But open borders puppeteers within his close circles made him quickly reserve course — revealing that he is not in control of the White House and his federal agencies. The proposal sends the wrong message and epitomizes how this administration continues to go to extreme lengths to satisfy the radical agenda of the open borders lobby.
• Mark Morgan is a senior fellow at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).