The Biden administration is reportedly negotiating a plan to offer $450,000 per person to migrant families who were separated at the United States’ southern border as part of the zero tolerance policy of predecessor Donald Trump.
The Departments of Justice, as well as Health and Human Services are considering paying what could be close to $1m per family in settlements since most of the families separated were made up of one parent and one child.
According to the report, “Is part of an effort to settle lawsuits on behalf of parents and children who were separated after crossing the US-Mexico border to seek asylum.
“The families 940 so far allege that parents and children are suffering from long-lasting emotional distress, trauma and psychological harm, due to being separated, for years in many cases.
The development also comes amid rising pressure on Joe Biden to fulfil his campaign promise to overhaul the immigration system and overturn Trump’s anti-immigration legacy.
The Trump administration, which made restricting immigration a primary goal of his presidency, imposed the so-called zero tolerance policy along the border in April 2018 to deter undocumented migrants from crossing into the US.
Under the policy which made crossing the border a criminal offence adults were prosecuted and put in expulsion proceedings.
Children, including infants, were held in temporary detention centres and then flown or bussed to other locations in the US.
Many were placed with foster families.
The policy drew widespread outrage and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the Trump administration over the policy.
It said more than 5,500 families were separated by the cruel policy.
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US to pay close to $1m to families separated at border