President Joe Biden’s administration appears to have “zigged” where he “zagged” on the issue of compensation for illegal immigrants separated at the United States/Mexico border, according to a new report in The Daily Caller.
The publication reported that White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made a statement on Thursday saying that the president is “perfectly comfortable” with the idea of settling with families separated under the previous administration’s zero-tolerance policy.
“If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s [former President Donald Trump] use of zero tolerance and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable,” the White House official said after news broke that the administration was considering payments of up to $450,000 each to the families.
She went on to say that it would be “the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government,” Jean-Pierre said.
Questions were prompted by an Oct. 28 Wall Street Journal article that said the payments might be coming due to a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents and children who were attempting to immigrate illegally.
In Their report, The Wall Street Journal said that payouts could total more than $1 billion.
Biden, however, quickly dismissed the report on Wednesday, coming right out and calling it “garbage” saying it’s “not gonna happen.”
“If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah, but it’s not true,” the president said when asked about the settlements, specifically whether it would be further incentivize more illegal border crossings. “Yeah, $450,000 per person, is that what you’re saying? That’s not gonna happen.”
Jean-Pierre, however, says that Biden isn’t dismissing the settlements, just the dollar figure: “What he was reacting to was the dollar figure that was mentioned … as press accounts today indicate, there’s been press accounts on this, DOJ made clear to the plaintiffs that the reported figures are higher than anywhere that a settlement can land,” she said.
This is a rapidly evolving story as different factions in the White House are telling Americans different things. This will be a story to keep an eye on as Democrats try and recover from Tuesday’s beatdown.