Biden administration considers big payouts to illegal immigrants separated at border, amid lawsuits

Payments could be as much as $1 million a family.
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U.S. border
U.S. border
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The Biden administration is reportedly considering a plan to give illegal immigrant families separated during the Trump administration roughly $450,000 a person in compensation.

The proposed plan was reported by the Wall Street Journal, based on information from sources familiar with the matter. The plan appears to be a settlement offer amid federal agencies trying to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the separations resulted in such ailments as heat exhaustion and malnutrition and subjected plaintiffs to psychological trauma.

The payments could go as high as $1 million a family. However, families would likely get a smaller amount. The total payout could exceed $1 billion, the newspaper reports

The Trump administration in May 2018 implemented a zero-tolerance approach to illegal immigration, in which agents apprehended everyone crossing the border illegally including those seeking asylum. 

That practice resulted in children being separated from their parents and put on a separate administrative track. The administration said the goal was to slow the number of people crossing the border illegally.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents families in one of the lawsuits, has identified about 5,500 children separated at the border over the course of the administration, citing figures provided to it by the government. The number of families eligible under the potential settlement is expected to be smaller, according to the newspaper.