The Biden administration has scrapped a deeply unpopular plan to pay migrants separated at the U.S.-Mexico border $450,000 per person.
The ACLU confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Justice Department had halted legal negotiations.
As the Washington Examiner reports:
The U.S. government “has ended negotiations over a settlement of the cases seeking monetary compensation,” Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, wrote in a message to the Washington Examiner.
Officials from the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice had proposed paying each person $450,000, or nearly $1 million per two-person family, to settle claims about the lasting traumatic and psychological effects of being torn apart as a result of former President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the Wall Street Journal reported in October. The policy was rolled out nationwide in April 2018 and shuttered in June 2018.
ACLU lead attorney Lee Gelernt told CBS News that the Biden administration’s decision not to pay affected families was the result of having “allowed politics to get in the way of helping the little children deliberately abused by our government.”
Approximately 5,400 children were separated at the border and sent to HHS facilities, while their parents were referred for prosecution for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Families could not be detained through those legal proceedings, prompting the separations.