President Biden responded Wednesday to a report that suggested his administration was mulling whether to make $450,000 payments to immigrants who were separated from their families at the border under former President Trump's administration, calling the reporting "garbage" and saying that it is "not gonna happen."
Following remarks at the White House where he urged parents to get their children vaccinated, Biden was asked by Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy about the Wall Street Journal's report and whether he believes it "might incentivize" immigrants to attempt to enter America illegally. Biden responded, "If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah, but it's not true."
"So this is a garbage report," Doocy asked?
"Yeah, $450,000 per person, is that what you said? That's not gonna happen," Biden stated.
The original report from the Journal said that the payments would be issued "to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma."
The Journal stated the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services are "considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family," though final payment amounts could change as some "families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances."
ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero suggested Biden might be out of the loop. "President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy," he said. "But if he follows through on what he said, the president is abandoning a core campaign promise to do justice for the thousands of separated families., Romero said. "We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy."
The Journal reported that around 940 claims have been filed by immigrant families who were separated at the border.
The news drew outrage from former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as members of Congress, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also weighed in, calling it a "slap in the face" to Americans.
The reported Biden administration plan drew criticism in part because the $450,000 payments would exceed those given to some families of 9/11 victims and Gold Star families.
Fox News' Peter Doocy contributed to this report.