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Biden backs payment to families separated at border under Trump

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Haitians deported from the United States arrive at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on October 28, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

US President Joe Biden has backed the idea to compensate migrant families separated under the Trump administration's so-called zero tolerance immigration policy, despite the fact that Biden is continuing many of Trump’s controversial immigration policies.

"If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration you, coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child -- you lost your child, it's gone! -- you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance," Biden said speaking to reporters at the White House on Saturday.

Biden, who studied law, said he had no idea what would compensate for a lost child. "What that [the compensation] will be, I have no idea."

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that $450,000 compensation was in mind for affected families who have sued the government.

Biden, on Wednesday, rejected such reports as "garbage" -- pointing to the $450,000 figure, saying, "That's not going to happen."

Under Trump's "zero tolerance" anti-immigration policy announced in 2018, refugees and asylum seekers faced tough measures upon arrival on US borders.

Biden, during his campaign for presidency, vowed to enforce more "humane" immigration policies.

He is now facing growing pressure from politicians and human rights groups for his failure to keep promise amid his administration’s harsh treatment of migrants seeking protection at the southern border with Mexico.

Human rights advocates have criticized Biden's immigration policy, more recently characterized by the expulsion of asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border, as being "cruel, unlawful and ineffective."


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