The U.S. is in the midst of a crisis on its southern border, with tens of thousands of migrants flooding into the country each month.
The situation at the border has gotten so bad, in fact, that the Biden administration is reportedly weighing the idea of paying migrants not to come.
Looking at all the options
In an interview Friday, President Joe Biden’s southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson told Reuters that the proposed “conditional cash transfer” initiative would target migrants from countries including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,” Jacobson said.
“The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people,” she added without providing specifics on the would-be program.
In its own report, the Washington Examiner noted that according to Jacobson, no decision has yet been reached regarding whether to send coronavirus vaccines to the Central American nations as part of the effort to improve their economic well-being.
Still, the idea is under consideration.
An insult to struggling Americans
Of course, the suggestion that American taxpayers should send their hard-earned cash south of the border faced a swift rebuke from Republicans.
President Biden wants to try and buy our way out of his border crisis with taxpayer money. The Administration is spending $60 million a week, and now wants to launch a cash transfer program in Central America. This insults millions of Americans who are out of work in our country. https://t.co/Jcav3wYyhf
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 10, 2021
GOP House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) also cried foul over the idea. “Let me get this straight: Actual American citizens are struggling,” he wrote in a tweet Friday. “But Dems want to send cash payments to people in Central America. And if you’re an illegal immigrant in New York? NY Dems want to give you $15,600. This is madness.”
Scalise was referring to a new $2.1 billion coronavirus relief deal struck by New York lawmakers last week designed specifically to aid undocumented immigrants who lost their jobs amid COVID-19. According to Fox Business, individuals who qualify will be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $15,600 — and every cent of it will be funded by taxpayers.