President Joe Biden claimed Wednesday that reports that his administration is negotiating massive payments to illegal immigrants separated from their families were "garbage."
But his liberal allies at the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Times, and ABC News explained that, in fact, the stories of negotiated payments to illegal immigrants are true — and that maybe he didn't remember or his team didn't tell him.
The Wall Street Journal revealed one week ago that the Biden administration was in talks to offer $450,000 per person to immigrant families separated during the Trump years.
The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, the Journal said, were working "to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma" and were considering payments that could total around $1 million per family.
As the revelation circulated in the media, critics of the plan said such a move was not only unfair to legal immigrants and Americans, but also would serve only to invite more illegal immigration. But President Biden this week said that he doesn't think a hike in illegal immigration will happen — only because he doesn't believe the story is anything but "garbage."
Apparently, he is unaware of what his staff is up to.
During a news briefing Wednesday, Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Biden about the controversial plan.
"As you were leaving for your overseas trip, there were reports that were surfacing that your administration's planning to pay illegal immigrants who were separated from their families at the border up to $450,000 each, possibly $1 million per family," Doocy began. "Do you think that that might incentivize more people to come over illegally?"
Biden was incredulous.
"If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah," the president responded. "But it's not true."
Doocy replied, "So this is a garbage report?"
"Yeah – $450,000 per person, is that what you're saying?" Biden answered with a look of disbelief.
Doocy explained that the reported negotiations that Biden's own people had been conducting would be for families separated under the Trump administration.
Biden replied, appearing not to know what his own departments were doing, "That's not going to happen."
But the ACLU, the Times, and ABC News all reported after Biden's remarks that the stories were not, in fact, "garbage."
ACLU executve director Anthony Romero immediately condemned the president's statement and suggested that perhaps he didn't know his own DOJ was negotiating a deal regarding the separation of families. But Romero noted that it was part of Biden's campaign promises:
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. 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. We respectfully remind President Biden that he called these actions "criminal" in a debate with then-President Trump, and campaigned on remedying and rectifying the lawlessness of the Trump administration. We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy.
The Times' report on the imbroglio noted that Biden was rejecting a compensation option that had, indeed, been part of negotiations his administration was conducting. The paper also noted the ACLU's recognition that it appeared Biden did not know what was going on.
And ABC News' headline declared that "Biden appears unaware of possible separated family payments." The outlet also added that it had confirmed that the "garbage" report from the Journal was accurate.