US Negotiates Compensation for Families Separated at Border

US Negotiates Compensation for Families Separated at Border

SAN DIEGO – The US Department of Justice is negotiating hundreds of thousands of dollars to be paid to each child and parent separated by family separation practices at the Trump-era border, a person familiar with discussions on the settlement of lawsuits said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the government is considering paying about $ 450,000 to each victim. A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the figure is being considered but has changed, albeit not dramatically. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.

Discussions are ongoing and there is no guarantee that both sides will come to an agreement.

According to court records in the federal case in San Diego, about 5,500 children were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which separated parents from their children and faced criminal prosecution for illegal border crossing. Inadequate tracking systems have left many separated for a long time. The payments are intended to compensate for psychological trauma.

Family lawyers are also seeking permanent legal status in the United States for those torn apart by a practice that a judge stopped in June 2018, six days after Trump stopped her amid international backlash.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.

Several law firms are involved in the settlement negotiations. The American Civil Liberties Union represents parents in the San Diego case.

The National Immigration Alliance represents five mothers and their children who have been separated for more than two months, including four children sent to detention centers in New York City. A federal judge in Arizona turned down a government proposal to close the case last year.

“No amount of money can compensate for the pain and suffering these parents and children have endured as a result of this unscrupulous and unprecedented policy,” said Trina Realmuto, executive director of the National Alliance for Immigration Disputes.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General said in a January report that “a focused focus on intensifying immigration prosecutions has been achieved through careful and proper consideration of the consequences of family prosecutions and child separation.”