What does the United States owe to separated families? A political dilemma deepens

But there remained the question of compensating families for the damage caused. “No amount of money can repair the harm that being apart...


But there remained the question of compensating families for the damage caused. “No amount of money can repair the harm that being apart for months – and in some cases, years, if parents were evicted – has caused our clients,” Lawyers’ Bree Bernwanger said. Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, which represents several families. “But, by law, if the government hurts people, commits tort, it must be responsible for that injury.”

Anyone aggrieved by the United States can bring a complaint against the government, regardless of nationality, and migrants have the right to due process. As a result, settling down with the families as a group could actually save the government, experts said, sparing it the expense of tackling hundreds of legal cases one at a time – and it could save the government as well. the Biden administration embarrasses it having to defend, in court, a policy it has disowned.

As border crossings have reached new heights, with 1.7 million migrants encountered last year and countless numbers of them, Republicans have consistently criticized the Biden administration for being too lenient. And the White House struggled to articulate a response and a message.

The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which stressed its policy of not commenting on unresolved settlement talks.

There is at least one precedent for a migrant family receiving a large sum from the government: Conchita Cruz, a lawyer with the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, which represents several separated families, said the organization had secured a settlement of $ 120,000 for a Honduran family. In this case, she said, a boy was arrested with his mother in 2015 after crossing the border. He was told in front of him that he would go to a shelter and be put up for adoption, and that they would never see each other again. (Ultimately, they weren’t separated.)

The deal was made in 2019 with the Trump administration.

However, the debate on financial compensation for families affected by the separation policy has been transformed by the premature rise in the figure of $ 450,000.

It was leaked by a government official, apparently out of a desire to highlight the payments and reduce the number, according to people familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What does the United States owe to separated families? A political dilemma deepens
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