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Mayorkas Confirms Illegal Immigrants Can Sign Up for Taxpayer Funded Payments

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed the Biden Administration is encouraging illegal immigrant families "separated from their children" to sign up for taxpayer funded relief checks. 

"We recently launched a website where families who were indeed separated can register for relief. We are working very closely with counsel for the families. We are working with the government, the nation's of origin to accelerate the provision of passports for parents who do indeed want to come here," Mayorkas said.  

Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal reported the Biden administration plans to issue $450,000 checks to each illegal immigrant who makes a claim of separation. 

"The Biden administration is in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma," WSJ reported. "The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said. Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child, the people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said."

President Biden responded to the report by calling it "garbage." 

Three days later, Biden changed his position and said the government should do provide compensation to those who have broken the law. 

"Because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal and you lost your child, you lost your child, he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance," Biden said. 

As a reminder, children were often separated under the Trump administration when it was unclear adults illegally traveling across the southern border with minors were actually their parents. 

“If there's no documentation to confirm the claimed relationship between an adult and a child, we [separate] if the parent is a national security, public or safety risk, including when there are criminal charges at issue and it may not be appropriate to maintain the family in detention together,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the White House Monday.

“We also separate a parent and child if the adult is suspected of human trafficking.  There have been cases where minors have been used and trafficked by unrelated adults in an effort to avoid detention,” she continued. “And I'd stop here to say, in the last five months, we have a 314 percent increase in adults and children arriving at the border, fraudulently claiming to be a family unit.  This is, obviously, of concern.”

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