Biden DOJ says families separated at border don't deserve compensation, despite his call for it

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President Biden’s Justice Department has argued in court that families separated at the border during the Trump years are not entitled to compensation, a stark contrast to Biden’s own position over the past several months.

Court filings show Biden’s DOJ is arguing in federal court that the U.S. government is immune from legal challenges from illegal immigrants separated from their families at the border, according to Washington Post.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
(Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)

“At issue in this case is whether adults who entered the country without authorization can challenge the federal government’s enforcement of federal immigration laws” under federal tort claims laws, the Justice Department argued in a January brief related to a Pennsylvania lawsuit. “They cannot.”

The argument comes a month after Biden’s DOJ called off settlement talks with migrant separated at the border, drawing outrage from the American Civil Liberties Union.

TEXAS, USA – SEPTEMBER 19: Migrants are seen at the Rio Grande near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas, on September 18, 2021. – The United States said on September 18 that it would ramp up deportation flights for thousands of migrants who flooded into the Texas border city of Del Rio, as authorities scramble to alleviate a burgeoning crisis for President Joe Biden’s administration. 
(Charlie C. Peebles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The DOJ pulled out of the talks, which previous reports had indicated could result in the DOJ giving illegal-immigrant families separated under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy up to $450,000 each in damages.

“The moment they said they were going to back away from settlement negotiations, this is where they were headed,” Conchita Cruz, co-executive director of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, told the Washington Post “If the government wants to actually win these cases, then they do have to argue that the families aren’t eligible. That’s what is so shocking.”

President Biden said in November that he believes the separated families “deserve some kind of compensation,” but also said he had “no idea” how much money they should receive.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks on voting rights during a speech on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 11, 2022.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Fox News’ Houston Keene contributed to this report

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