Chris Lieberman, FISM News
A new poll indicates that the majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plan to pay families of illegal immigrants separated at the southern border and that most Americans want the border closed until the ongoing crisis is resolved.
According to the poll, 55% of Americans support closing the U.S.-Mexico border until the issues caused by migrant caravans, human trafficking, and drug smuggling are brought under control, while 32% opposed the idea. It also found that 67% of Americans disapprove of paying $450,000 to families separated at the border, with 56% saying they “strongly disapprove.” Only 19% said they approved of making such payments.
Support for closing the border fell predictably along party lines, with 83% of Republicans in favor of closure while only 11% opposed the idea. Among Democrats, 52% said the border should not be closed, while 30% said it should.
On the issue of paying immigrant families, Republicans were overwhelmingly against the idea. 88% disapprove of such payments, including 84% who “strongly disapprove.” However, answers among Democrats were more mixed, with 46% against the idea and 36% in favor of it, while 18% had no opinion.
The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group between Nov. 1 and Nov. 4, asked 1,086 likely voters for their opinions on immigration issues. It was the first such poll taken since the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration was considering making $450,000 payments to families of illegal immigrants who were separated at the border as a part of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy.
When asked about the possibility of such payments, Biden said last Wednesday, “That’s not going to happen,” and referred to the report as “garbage.” However, Biden staffers later backtracked these comments, saying that Biden was in favor of the payments, but that the $450,000 figure was inaccurate.
Biden later clarified that he believed that the immigrant families should receive payments, but that they should be lower. He said, “If in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you were coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child — you lost your child — it’s gone — you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance.”
The $450,000 payments were proposed as part of a settlement for the ongoing class-action lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of the immigrant families. The Biden administration claims that such payments would be lower than the damages sought by the lawsuit, which average $3.4 million per family.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of zero tolerance and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government.”
According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Monday, 66% of Americans believe that illegal immigrants should not be able to sue the U.S. government.