The Biden administration could pay illegal immigrants' families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border $450,000 per person in settlements, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The payments could amount to close to $1 million per family. Some families would likely receive smaller payouts depending on the circumstances, according to the report.
Migrant children separated from their parents at the border were supposed to be reunited with their parents by the U.S. government within 30 days. That was in 2018.
Three years later, at least 1,000 children have not been returned to their parents. The Biden administration ended the policy through an executive order in June and created a Family Reunification Task Force that, as of Oct. 8, has reunited 52 families separated under former President Donald Trump. Roughly 2,800 children were taken from their parents under the 2018 policy, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security.
Michelle Brané, the chair of the task force, said there was no system in place for documenting separations.
''So there's nowhere to go to find out who was separated or not. It really is case-by-case detective work,'' she said during an interview with CBS' ''60 Minutes,'' adding that the situation is ''shocking.''
"60 Minutes" correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said a border station reportedly used a whiteboard to keep track of children.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents families in one of the lawsuits, says about 5,500 children were separated at the border over the course of the Trump administration, according to the Journal.
Many of the lawsuits describe lasting psychological trauma for both parents and children.
''President Biden has agreed that the family separation policy is a historic moral stain on our nation that must be fully remedied,'' Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's immigrant-rights project and a lead negotiator on one of the lawsuits, told the Journal. ''That remedy must include not only meaningful monetary compensation, but a pathway to remain in the country.''
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