- The Washington Times - Monday, November 22, 2021

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, introduced legislation Monday morning that would prohibit settlement payments to illegal immigrants of any amount as part of litigation filed by criminals suing the federal government.

Titled “We’re Not Paying You to Break Our Laws Act,” the bill would bar the Justice Department from paying out legal settlements up to $450,000 per asylum seeker or $1 million per family to those who were separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” illegal immigration policies.

“In Biden‘s America, it is better to be a criminal than a law enforcement officer,” the conservative Colorado freshman said in a statement. “Over half of Border Patrol agents may be fired because of Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, but illegal aliens get a free pass into our country and could receive a $450,000 check. For contrast, the highest-paid Border Patrol agents make less than half that in yearly salary after 20 years of service.”

She added, “I’ve had enough of the Biden regime’s madness, so I introduced the We’re Not Paying You to Break Our Laws Act to restore sanity and the rule of law. We should be putting Americans first, not criminals!”

Republican co-sponsors of the legislation include fellow Freedom Caucus members Reps. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Andy Harris of Maryland, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Randy Weber of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona.

This is the second piece of legislation proposed by Republican House lawmakers that would block settlement payouts to illegal aliens. Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican and ranking member of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, proposed a bill on Nov. 4 that would bar settlement payments to individuals and families who entered the U.S. illegally.

This bill is co-sponsored by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, and Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican. The legislation has 146 co-sponsors.

Back in early November Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking if he intended to go forward with the settlements after President Biden gave conflicting statements about the payments. Mr. Biden first insisted to reporters that the payments were not “gonna happen” but later walked those remarks back, blaming the Trump administration policy.

“Whether [the border crossing] was legal or illegal, and you lost your child,” Mr. Biden responded to a White House reporter when asked about his confusing messaging on the issue. “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.”

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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