On Wednesday, after referencing reports that the Biden administration is in talks to pay $450,000 to members of families separated at the border, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked President Joe Biden whether the plan would incentivize more illegal immigration.
Biden’s answer is noteworthy for multiple reasons — not least being that it constitutes an admission that such a harebrained scheme would indeed serve as an incentive for more illegal immigration.
“If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah,” Biden responded, adding, “but it’s not true.”
When Doocy followed up, saying, “So this is a garbage report?” the president doubled down, replying, “Yeah.”
At some point during the brief colloquy, the president, who often seems enveloped in a mental fog, appeared to sense that there might be something to the story, querying, “$450,000 per person, is that what you’re saying?” After Doocy confirmed, Biden insisted: “That’s not going to happen.”
Hours after Biden’s comments, the ACLU, which represents many of the separated families, issued a statement explaining that Biden “may not have been fully briefed” on his Justice Department’s settlement deliberations. (RELATED: Debunking the ACLU’s Racist Anti-Gun Narrative)
“We respectfully remind President Biden,” the fake civil liberties organization’s statement reads, “that he called [family separation] criminal” during a presidential debate.
Here’s the background in a nutshell: while the Trump administration implemented a number of sensible policies to uphold the country’s immigration laws, family separation probably wasn’t one of them.
The program, put into operation in May and June of 2018 (Trump rescinded it in late June amid bipartisan condemnation), suffered from poor planning and bungled execution.
For example, according to an OIG report, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions envisioned that the Department of Homeland Security would be able to quickly reunite families after adults were arrested and referred for criminal prosecution, overlooking logistical issues — like that minors must be transferred from DHS custody into the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours.
But the family separation story goes back to 2015. That’s when Dolly Gee, a liberal federal judge, held that the Flores Settlement, a Clinton era agreement specifying how the government must handle unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border, applies to accompanied minors — including the settlement’s presumption that the minors are entitled to be released to any adult pending the immigration court hearing.
Gee’s decision forced the Obama administration to discontinue its policy of holding families together until their almost always meritless asylum cases got heard by an immigration judge.
Speaking of incentives, the Obama-Biden policy worked. As detailed in this January 2016 legal brief, the 2014 surge of family units crossing the southern border dramatically slowed once families were detained, and surged again after Gee’s disastrous ruling.
Confronting an even larger surge in 2017 into 2018, a natural consequence of Gee’s ruling, and with its hands tied by the court, the Trump administration resorted to family separation.
But policy mistakes don’t entitle aliens to a taxpayer-funded windfall. As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed, aliens seeking admission to the county enjoy only those rights which Congress has elected to bestow — and suing the government for alleged mistreatment isn’t one.
Some legal commentators suggest that the government should settle the family separation lawsuits so as to avoid possible larger judgments. No way. Doing so would be a slap in the face to millions of hard-working Americans, the vast majority of whom have never seen such a financial windfall — and who would foot the bill.
Moreover, the prospect of the ACLU prevailing in the litigation is extremely remote — which may explain the ACLU’s keen interest in “reminding” the president about his campaign comments.
Look for the administration to oblige progressives’ social justice demands, putting those interests above those of the American people — just like it’s done since day one.
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