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Biden admin. mulling plan to pay separated immigrants $450k each, per report
In this March 24, 2021 photo, a migrant man, center, holds a child as he looks at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at an intake area after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, early Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Roma, Texas. The Biden administration said Monday that four families that were separated at the Mexico border during Donald Trump's presidency will be reunited in the United States this week in what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls “just the beginning” of a broader effort. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON (TND) - The Biden administration is considering a plan to compensate families here illegally with nearly half-a-million dollars per person, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The plan is a response to a series of lawsuits filed on behalf of migrant families claiming they were traumatized by Trump-era family separations at the border. The Trump administration separated migrant families under its short-lived "zero-tolerance" border policy, though families were also separated at the border during the Obama administration, according to CNN.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit in 2019 seeking damages for families affected by the "zero-tolerance" policy. The ACLU represents plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits that pushed the Biden administration to consider payouts for illegal immigrants, per the Wall Street Journal.

If the Biden administration moves forward with payments to separated families, some families may receive more compensation than the families of 9/11 victims, the Wall Street Journal reported.

GOP lawmakers were quick to criticize the possibility of illegal immigrant payouts Thursday afternoon, accusing the Biden administration of prioritizing asylum seekers over American citizens.

"Instead of encouraging, incentivizing, and rewarding illegal entry, the United States should be punishing it!" tweeted Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Thursday afternoon.

The reported consideration of a payout plan comes as the Biden administration grapples with an immigration crisis on the southern border, where border patrol agents have arrested a record number of illegal border crossers over the past 12 months.

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