The government of President Joe Biden suspended negotiations with families seeking compensation after being forcibly separated from their children under the immigration policy of now-former President Donald Trump, lawyers reported Thursday.
More than 5,000 minors were separated from their families between 2017 and 2018 at the US-Mexico border and some 270 of them still remain without having been reunited with their parents.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) initiated a legal claim in 2019 on behalf of more than 900 families, seeking compensation for the psychological and emotional damages suffered and, in some cases, for the abuses suffered by minors.
“As a candidate, Biden promised that he would help these children and their families,” noted an ACLU message on Twitter. “But today President Biden plays politics shamelessly with their lives and futures.”
“After our government deliberately abused children by separating them from their families, today it has abandoned the negotiations that sought to heal those who were traumatized,” he added.
Last November, The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to their sources, the parties were discussing an out-of-court settlement whereby the government would pay compensation of up to $ 450,000 to the families involved in the lawsuit.
However, the Department of Justice subsequently advised the families’ attorneys that it will not be able to pay them such high amounts.
And on November 6, President Biden affirmed that migrant families with children who were separated by Trump deserve monetary compensation for the damages suffered.
Biden argued that no matter what the circumstances, those families from whom the Trump administration took their children deserve compensation.
“Due to the scandalous behavior of the last Administration, if you crossed the border, either legally or illegally, and lost your son, if you lost him and that’s it, he’s gone, then you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstances, “ said the president at a press conference at the White House.
The declarations of the president took place while the Department of Justice negotiated with the lawyers of those families some type of compensation.
According to the news network CNN, a lawyer representing the families said today that the government has ceased its participation in the negotiations and is ready to return to court.