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FIRST ON FOX: Republican lawmakers in the Senate on Thursday will introduce legislation to bar the Biden administration from making payments to illegal immigrants who were separated during the Trump administration – amid a continuing controversy over reported plans by the administration to make massive payouts to illegal immigrants.

Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will introduce the Protect American Taxpayer Dollars from Illegal Immigration Act.

BIDEN SAYS HE HAS ‘NO IDEA’ WHAT PAYMENTS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WILL BE, BUT BACKS COMPENSATION

The legislation would bar the use of federal funds, including the Judgment Fund, which pays for court judgments and lawsuit settlements against the federal government, for illegal immigrants if the settlements are related to their detention at the border after Jan. 20, 2017.

The bill is in response to reported plans by the administration to settle with illegal immigrants who were separated from family members during the Trump administration and are suing the government as a result.

Asylum-seeking migrants’ families wait to be transported by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, April 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Go Nakamura)

The Wall Street Journal reported that the government was eyeing payments of up to $450,000 per person – meaning some illegal immigrant families could potentially see payments in the millions.

“Our southern border is a disaster, and President Biden’s failed policies have continued to fuel this ongoing crisis,” Tillis said in a statement. “We are seeing the most illegal immigration this year alone than ever recorded, and now President Biden wants to give illegal immigrants a payout, further rewarding lawlessness and chaos.” 

“These $450,000 settlements are an insult to all hardworking Americans who will subsequently be funding these large settlements with their hard-earned tax dollars,” he said. “I am proud to work with my colleagues to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

When asked about the reports last month, Biden initially described them as “garbage” but later changed course and defended the planned payments – although he still disputed the $450,000 figure. 

“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, he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance.”

“What that will be, I have no idea. I have no idea,” he said while saying it was “the number I was referring to” when he called the reports “garbage.”

Other administration officials have also pushed back on the $450,000 figure but have not said what an acceptable number would be.

But the reports sparked fury from Republicans, who have said the payments would be a waste of taxpayer money and encourage illegal immigration at a time when the border is already in a state of crisis.

“While American families are struggling anxiously just to keep pace with President Biden’s inflation, the President now wants to make millionaires out of people who crossed the border illegally. It’s beyond parody,” McConnell said in a statement this week. “Obviously, this would only exacerbate the Democrats’ border crisis and incentivize the riskiest and most dangerous kinds of illegal immigration.”

REPUBLICANS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM BIDEN CABINET ON REPORTED PAYMENTS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: ‘HORRIFIC DECISION’

“It would be unthinkable to pay damages to a burglar who broke into your home for the ‘psychological trauma’ they endured during the crime,” Cotton said. “And yet the Biden administration wants to reward migrants who illegally entered our country with up to $450,000 each for just that reason.”

McConnell wrote last month to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding clarity on the matter, while lawmakers in both the House and Senate have made moves to block the payments — including an effort led by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., to amend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block any such payments.

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The latest push by Tillis, Cornyn and McConnell already has support from a number of their fellow Republicans. So far, 21 Republican senators are original co-sponsors of the bill, including Sens. James Risch, R-Idaho, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rick Scott, R-Fla.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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