House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday why the Biden administration would give taxpayer money to migrants who broke federal law.
A report released by The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 28 said the Department of Justice (DOJ) was considering paying illegal immigrant families separated after illegally crossing into the U.S. during the Trump administration up to $450,000 each. The payments would be settlements resulting from ongoing lawsuits filed on behalf of children and parents.
“Why give taxpayer money to people who broke federal law to get here?” Doocy asked.
“You like this question, Peter. We talked about this yesterday,” Jean-Pierre responded. “One of the things that we have to remember … why we’re in this place that we are today is because we had an administration that had an inhumane, immoral policy that was taking babies away from their families, from their mothers.”
President Joe Biden previously said Wednesday that the report on the payments was “garbage” and was not going to happen, but Jean-Pierre said on Thursday that the president was “perfectly comfortable” with the DOJ making the settlements if it saved taxpayer dollars.
Jean-Pierre said Biden was “reacting to was the dollar figure that was mentioned” in his denial of the report, not the substance of the report. “As press accounts today indicate, there’s been press accounts on this, DOJ made clear to the plaintiffs that the reported figures are higher than anywhere that a settlement can land,” she said.
On both Thursday and Friday, Jean-Pierre referred any further comments or questions on the topic to the DOJ, saying she was unable to discuss specifics of the matter. Doocy then said that the DOJ would not comment when asked about the report.
Doocy also asked whether the administration was planning to give migrants who were legally coming to the U.S. money. “Why would we be giving people who are coming here the right way money?” Jean-Pierre responded.
“Why are you giving people who came here the wrong way money?” Doocy responded. Jean-Pierre said she did not understand the question and that he would have to pose it to the DOJ.