When it comes to undocumented immigrant families separated while crossing the border, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is more concerned with the media’s framing of the “reparations” than the families themselves.
On Tuesday morning, the senior Senator from Florida engaged the question, wondering why the media wasn’t asking Democrats about the issue.
“Let’s see how many Democrats are asked by the media to react to reports that Joe Biden wants to pay reparations to people deported for illegally entering the United States,” Rubio tweeted, referencing the Biden administration’s plan to provide payouts to people separated at the border under former President Donald Trump‘s border policies.
Rubio’s framing of the issue elides the human toll of the family separation policies. The class action plaintiff claim from the American Civil Liberties Union argues federal officials and policies “deliberately traumatized” those families, and the Biden administration seemingly concedes that point.
About 5,600 children were separated from their families, and 1,000 still have not been reunited, according to NBC News. If a parent and a child were separated, each could receive $450,000 in compensation from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.
For Rubio, however, the issue at the porous Mexican border is one of national security. He has cautioned about the “terrorist threat” posed by border crossers, and has accused Biden of “luring” undocumented immigrants toward making the journey.
Rubio is not alone among leading Florida Republicans on what he calls “reparations” to families wronged by American border police. Though he is the first to pose the provocation about Democrats not getting asked about the matter, he’s not the first to fulminate about it.
His Senate colleague from Florida expressed outrage on a Sunday television program.
“What are we thinking? Why would we be doing this? They broke our laws. These individuals broke the laws of the United States of America, and then the Biden administration wants to write them a check,” U.S. Sen. Rick Scott thundered on Fox News.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called the proposed payouts a “slap in the face” to American citizens.
“I’ve seen a lot in my day. I’ve seen a lot that’s happened in the last nine or 10 months that I never thought I’d see. But this takes the cake. If that is done, that is going to be a slap in the face to every hardworking American,” DeSantis said Friday in Lake County.
The Governor said he was “very, very concerned about reports … that the Biden administration is going to pay with tax dollars hundreds of millions of dollars to people who came to our country illegally across the southern border as ‘damages.’”