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Latta Joins Letter Questioning the Biden Administration’s Consideration of Paying Illegal Migrants

Representative Bob Latta (R-OH5) joined Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI6) and seventy-four other Republican colleagues to send a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to address the Biden Administration’s consideration of payment up to $1 million per migrant family who illegally crossed the southern border in 2018.

“The Biden Administration’s consideration of $450,000 payments per migrant who was taken into custody and separated from their family after attempting to illegally enter the United States in 2018 is a political stunt,” said Latta. “We are currently experiencing a real humanitarian crisis at our southern border; and I’ve seen it for myself during my visit earlier this year. Unfortunately, since my trip to the border, the situation has only worsened. Rather than signaling to the world that our borders are open and those who attempt to illegally enter our country will get a pay-off, the Biden Administration needs to reverse course, take action to secure our border, and make it clear to those who want to come to our country that they must go through the proper legal channels.”

The complete text of the letter is online and below:

Dear Secretary Mayorkas, Attorney General Garland, and Secretary Becerra:

According to an October 28th Wall Street Journal article, the Biden administration is considering offering almost $1 million per family to those who were taken into custody and separated after illegally crossing our southern border. If finalized, the total settlement could reach $1 billion or more.1 Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a litany of issues created by extreme policy changes that have led to the ongoing, persistent, and preventable historic humanitarian crisis at our border. These changes have signaled to human traffickers and drug cartels that the United States southern border is open for business, so long as you are not entering legally.

While immigration has been a bedrock of the United States since its founding, we should not be creating policy that encourages individuals to illegally enter our country by traveling thousands of miles through some of the most dangerous parts of the world organized by international criminal syndicates responsible for thousands of murders throughout Mexico and the U.S. – all during a global pandemic. Furthermore, it is ironic that this administration would focus on the well-being of illegal immigrants when, in July 2021, several whistleblowers came forward to shed light on the deplorable conditions at a Ft. Bliss detention center responsible for overseeing the care of more than 5,000 children. The reports claimed that COVID spread among the kids, contractors hired by the Department of Health and Human Services lacked childcare experience, and it took months to receive supplies to quell a lice outbreak among the young people.2 Unconscionably, bureaucrats in Washington advised those on the ground to paint a rosy picture and to not allow the public to find out how decrepit the conditions were.

The family separation policy was ended in June 2018, and, in some cases, already resolved for far less than the reported figures this administration is discussing. To better understand this negotiation, we request you answer the below questions expeditiously.

1. Is the reporting correct and could families who illegally crossed the southern border and were separated receive larger settlements than the victims of the September 11th terrorist attack?

2. What is the total amount of American taxpayer dollars that the administration plans to authorize to settle these cases?

3. Will those families who illegally crossed the southern border and were separated be given preferential treatment to remain in the United States over those attempting to legally immigrate?

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing your response.


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