The administration of President Joe Biden has ended negotiations to compensate hundreds of families separated by Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies. For weeks, the Department of Justice had the possibility to compensate each of the victims with up to $450,000 One of the most controversial procedures to the Republican. That option disappeared Thursday, according to a legal representative for affected immigrants. Instead, the government will bring cases individually in the courts and it will be the judges who will determine the compensation amounts, if any, for the victims’ damages.
The decision was a new setback for the Biden administration in its promise to change immigration policy. A month ago, the president himself admitted that families separated at the border deserve compensation. If you lose one of your children crossing the border due to the outrageous behavior of the previous administration, legally or illegally, you deserve compensation. “No matter what the circumstances,” the president said in early November. Reuniting separated families at the border was one of his great campaign promises.
The President’s words came in response to a series of posts by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper revealed in October that the Ministry of Justice was negotiating an agreement In nearly a thousand arrests in 2018. The newspaper reported at the time that the authorities were considering paying more than $400,000 to each family. This caused an uproar in the Senate, where eleven Republican politicians demanded that the Executive undo the settlement. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, called it “ridiculous.” A White House source confirmed that the reward would be lower, but negotiations continued.
This Thursday, the wind change was confirmed. Lee Gilert, an ACLU attorney who was part of the negotiations, assured me that the administration had gotten off the table to take each individual case to the courts. “History will not judge the Biden administration kindly for its decision not to defend all these young children,” Gilbert told the Wall Street Journal. The activist noted that politics in Washington was the factor that ended up breaking the negotiations.
Analysts believe the agreement could become an obstacle for Democrats in their campaign toward the 2022 midterm elections, in which part of Congress is renewed. The Biden administration, which has an approval rating of just over 40%, is struggling to change the narrative on the immigration crisis that erupted weeks after his January arrival in the White House. The Border Patrol made more than 1.6 million arrests along the line with Mexico between October 2020 and October 2021. The number of arrests in November was more than 173,000, an increase of 5% from the previous month. This marks a new milestone in a year when the influx of immigration broke all records.
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With the election pressure seemingly unfavorable, the Biden government has opted for continuity in some of Trump’s immigration policies. The administration came back to life at the beginning of this monthUnder the authority of a federal court, the controversial Immigrant Protection Protocols, colloquially known as Remain in Mexico. This program forces asylum seekers to wait for a resolution of their cases outside the United States.
The executive promised to respond to requests within 180 days or less, and expanded it to keep other immigrants out of the United States, but is considering some exceptions. This includes disabled or mentally handicapped immigrants, the elderly, and those who have experienced discrimination in their countries of origin because of their gender identity. This has not yet been achieved. Washington has claimed that the pandemic has delayed legal action and that there are now at least 1.3 million immigration cases to be resolved.
The government is also maintaining regulations known as Title 42, an emergency measure Trump instituted in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, that allows those arriving without papers on US soil to be quickly deported. This was a useful tool that Biden used to vent about the border with Mexico, a hot spot that brought him many problems in domestic politics.
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