WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The White House on Friday left open the possibility that some migrants who were detained by the Trump administration could be given hundreds of thousands of dollars in a legal settlement.
The Biden administration walked back comments from President Joe Biden, who forcefully denied payments to migrants were going to happen. However, on Friday, it appeared they still might but could be less than the $450,000 originally reported.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy railed against reports that the Biden administration is considering the $450,000 per person payments to immigrants whose families were separated at the border under the Trump administration’s child separation policy.
“The only thing that will happen if that is the case is it’ll give greater incentive to more people coming across here illegally,” he said.
The families crossed the border illegally but are now suing the U.S., with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), after enduring what the American Academy of Pediatrics has called “child abuse” under the controversial Trump policy.
On Wednesday, Biden called the payment reports “garbage.”
“That’s not gonna happen,” Biden said.
But the White House is walking back those comments, saying he was referring to the dollar amount of the proposed settlement payments not being correct.
On Friday, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blamed former President Donald Trump and his policies for creating the initial problem.
“One of the things that we have to remember is why we’re in this place where we are today is because we had an administration that had an inhumane, immoral policy that was taking babies away from their families, from their mothers. That was the policy of the last administration,” said Jean-Pierre.
In a statement, the ACLU confirmed the U.S. Department of Justice told families themselves they would not be getting as much as $450,000. The Justice Department did not respond to a NewsNation request when asked what dollar amount is being considered.