Biden to Compensate Immigrant Families Separated at Border

Posted by Viviana Vazquez in Brown EconomicsNovember 15, 2021(Last Updated January 10, 2023)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • President Joe Biden is working with the Department of Justice to make amends with the families affected due to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy back in 2018.
  • To make amends with the families, there have been settlement talks for each person affected by the policy, reaching the six figures.
  • Alongside the settlement offer, the lawyers representing the families are pushing for them to receive permanent legal immigration status to remain in the U.S. without the worry of being deported. 
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President Joe Biden recently announced that the Department of Justice is currently in contact with family members affected by the Trump Administration’s United States - Mexico land border policy. In 2018, President Donald Trump announced a new zero-tolerance policy for immigrants living in the country illegally. As a result, Trump began to file criminal charges against the illegal immigrants, causing their families to be divided at the U.S. border, leaving them to wonder when they would see each other again.  


The Trump Administration's Approach to Immigration


Typically, most Presidents refrain from pursuing criminal charges on unlawful immigrants. Most presidents' plan of action is to deport criminals and those staying illegally in the U.S. back to their respective native countries. However, in an attempt to control, restrict the immigrant population, and lower illicit border crossings, President Trump began a new method of making arrests.


Trump ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to perform mass sweeps on undocumented immigrant workers and communities. According to data released by ICE, the number of people arrested for illegally staying in the U.S. increased by 203%, from 19,128 to 58,010.


The Effects of Trump's Approach to Immigration


As previously mentioned, the pursuit of criminal charges by Trump led to families being separated and children of the offenders being forced to live elsewhere. Therefore, the actions by the Trump Administration negatively affected the families involved. 


Image Credit: Steven Sullivan /


Many American people across the nation protested the policy, arguing it was unethical to separate families, especially families that were in need of asylum. Friends and family of those affected showed support through protests and petitions.


President Biden's Approach to Immigration 


The Biden Administration believes the work done by the Trump Administration was both morally and ethically questionable, and as a result are trying to make amends with the affected families. Former Vice President Biden is currently working with the Department of Justice to get in contact with the victims and reconcile with them by offering them a reasonable settlement.


Although the settlement amount has yet to be finalized, it is estimated to be around six figures for each person involved. The Biden Administration has determined that a settlement in the six figures is ample enough to help those affected get on their feet and move towards healing the psychological trauma this event caused them. The financial compensation may also help those affected by any health care costs associated with mental health treatment.


Furthermore, the lawyers representing the families that were torn apart as a result of the Trump Administration’s actions are seeking permanent legal resident status. There is no guarantee that this will be granted. However, if it does, it would mean those affected would become lawful permanent residents after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes their application.


Is There a Change in Approach to Immigration in 2021?


The Covid-19 pandemic not only affected the U.S. economy, workforce, and health care system, but it has also affected the U.S. immigration system. According to data released by TRAC, on July 8, 2021, the number of people in ICE's immigrant detention centers had grown to 27,217, the highest it has been since March 2020. As of October 1, 2021, 22,129 people are still in ICE detention centers. 


What are your thoughts on the settlement offered by the government? Do you think it will be enough to make up for the events that happened? Let us know in the comments below. 


Main Image Credit: Crush Rush /

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