Our View | Reparation for the Separation?

Our View

By The Signal Editorial Board

If you serve in the military and you die defending your country, your family receives a $100,000 payout from the government. 

It’s a pittance. 

And, it pales in comparison to the reward President Joe Biden and his administration is contemplating for illegal immigrants who violated our laws, crossing the border at a time when President Donald Trump had enacted a widely publicized, known-to-all, zero tolerance policy for illegal immigration.

The reward the Biden administration wants to give these rule breakers? A whopping $450,000, per person.

So, some families who violated our laws by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without permission will become instant millionaires.

This, apparently, is the Biden administration’s concept of “justice.” 

No other country in the world would even think of paying any amount to someone breaking their laws and entering their country unauthorized.

The payouts are being contemplated as settlements to lawsuits filed on behalf of illegal immigrants who arrived with children in 2018 when the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy was in effect. You know, the policy that preceded Biden’s “zero enforcement” policy.

At the time, many parents were kept in separate holding facilities from their children. The $450,000 per person — which adds up to $1.35 million for a set of parents and one child — is being considered as a “reparation” for the separation.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents some of the litigants, estimates the number of children could be as high as 5,500. Approximately 940 claims have already been filed, making the total potential payout $1 billion or more.

The lawsuits describe lasting mental health issues of trauma and anxiety, with the average claim of the lawsuits being $3.4 million per family. The lawsuits are asking for not only “meaningful monetary compensation” but also a pathway to remain in this country.

You know. The country they entered illegally. 

Now, we are not saying the children being separated from their parents didn’t cause them stress and anxiety, but isn’t this a risk the parents accepted when they decided to break the law and enter this country illegally? Didn’t the parents assume that risk when they made the decision to enter with their kids?

We currently have the worst border crisis in our history. As Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, put it:

“The Biden administration’s promises of citizenship and entitlement programs have already caused the worst border crisis in history — a huge cash reward will make it even worse. This is the height of insanity.”

Our own Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, is a first-generation American whose father immigrated — legally — from Mexico. Garcia was one of 43 lawmakers who sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing urgent concern about the plan.

“We write today with severe concerns regarding recent reports that your three agencies are in discussions to offer illegal immigrants that unlawfully crossed the U.S. border in 2018 roughly $450,000 per person in compensation,” the letter said. “The rationale for this egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars is to compensate these persons for ‘lasting psychological drama.’ Do, however, note that these persons crossed into our country in a knowingly illegal manner, fully aware of the consequences of violating our rule of law.”

It’s popular among progressives to demonize Trump for the policy and its impact on families. But that’s like blaming you if your house gets burglarized and the suspect is hauled off to jail, separated from his family. Whose fault is that? Yours or the burglar’s?

That’s what happened here. These families knew they were breaking the law, they knew there was a risk in bringing their children along as they broke the law, and they did it anyway. The government isn’t responsible for that. Taxpayers aren’t, either. 

Those parents are. It’s a dereliction of their duty as parents who are supposed to keep their children safe.

Who’s to blame for the psychological trauma inflicted upon the child of the burglar who broke into your house? 

It’s not you. It’s the parent who broke the law. He shouldn’t be rewarded by becoming an instant millionaire, with taxpayers picking up the tab.

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