The White House Friday refused to answer questions related to the Biden administration‘s reported plan to issue settlement payments through the Justice Department to illegal migrants separated at the border under the Trump administration.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who had said Thursday that Biden is “perfectly comfortable” with payments being issued to those impacted by the Trump-era immigration policies, dodged questions from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy about taxpayer-funded payments to “people who broke the law to come here.”
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House Nov. 5, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
“I am telling you that this is in litigation and, so, you have to talk to the Department of Justice about this,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is not something that I can speak to from here on the particulars, on the specifics.”
Jean-Pierre sought to place blame for the settlements on the former administration.
“Why we’re in this place we are today is because we had an administration that had an inhumane, immoral policy,” Jean-Pierre said, referencing President Trump‘s immigration policies and the separation of families at the border that occurred.
President Biden delivers remarks on the October jobs reports in the State Dining Room at the White House Nov. 5, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Told once more to “go to the Department of Justice to get the particulars,” Doocy asked Jean-Pierre whether Biden was “being kept out of the loop” on immigration policies put forth by his administration. She would not answer specifically and claimed the president responded to a “direct question” from Doocy earlier this week when the president said the report on $450,000 payments to individuals was “garbage” and “not gonna happen.”
Asked wheter the administration might also give money to people “who are coming here the right way,” Jean-Pierre asked, “Why would we be giving people who are coming here the right way money?”
“Why are you giving people who came here the wrong way money,” Doocy responded.
A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum, in June 2021. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)
Jean-Pierre said she did not “understand the question” and directed Doocy to the DOJ for further response.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy contributed to this article.