We don’t often get a chance to say this, but Joe Biden was right. At first, anyway. Remember when Peter Doocy asked Biden about reports that the administration would pay $450,000 per family member for those separated after crossing the border illegally? Biden immediately called the idea “garbage,” and claimed it was nonsense:
Immediately afterward, the ACLU disputed Biden’s denial by revealing that his administration had been negotiating a settlement on exactly these terms through the Department of Justice. Biden hit reverse pretty quickly on the “garbage” appellation. First, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pronounced Biden “comfortable” with reparations payments for family separations. A day or so later, Biden himself declared that illegal entrants into the country “deserved” compensation for the family-separation policy outcomes.
Biden should have stuck with “garbage.” A new Trafalgar poll shows that two-thirds of all Americans think such payments would be “garbage” as well, and that less than one in five Americans support the idea:
Note that a majority of 56% strongly disapprove of the idea. That’s brutal, but it’s hardly the entirety of the bad news from this survey. If that data suggest that opposition is broad-based, wait until you get to the demos. Even among Democrats, a plurality opposes the idea, 36/46. The biggest plurality in the Dem breakout goes to “strongly disapprove” at 27.5%, while those that strongly approve only amount to 16.5% of the Democratic respondents.
You can probably imagine what Republicans think (6.5/88.1, with 84.7% strongly disapproving), but what about independents? The idea of reparations gets a whopping 9.3% support among unaffiliated voters, while 67.5% oppose the idea.
That’s not the only bad news for Biden on immigration policy. Thanks to the flood of illegal immigration touched off by Biden’s rhetoric and policies this year, a wide majority of Americans want the southern border closed until the administration gets its act together, 54.7/31.6. Democrats oppose the idea 29.5/51.5, but independents want the border closed by twenty points, 52.3/31.2.
Power Line’s John Hinderaker and Steven Hayward wonder what the real endgame is with this deeply unpopular idea, one so bad that even Biden’s gut reaction was to call it “garbage”:
What is interesting to me is that the Democrats couldn’t have imagined that their payoff scheme would be popular. Yet they are going to proceed with it, under the hyper-partisan direction of Merrick Garland. The Democrats are in a damn-the-torpedoes mode, and are determined to accomplish as much of their extreme agenda as they can, regardless of the consequences.
STEVE adds: I think everyone is missing something here. The payment to illegal aliens is simply a dry run to establish the foundation for paying reparations for slavery. Since Congress is unlikely ever to vote for such a thing, how about a collusive lawsuit against the Biden Administration that the Justice Department “settles” in favor of reparations?
I think that’s a stretch, legally speaking anyway. The reparations in this case are going to those who were directly impacted by the separation policy, which gives them standing to sue in the first place. No one alive today has that kind of standing for a suit that would do an end-run around Congress for slavery reparations. Courts would likely toss such an effort out immediately on both standing and separation-of-powers issues. But it’s certainly an interesting exercise for normalizing the idea of reparations — and Trafalgar’s results equally interesting for suggesting just how much on the fringe that idea remains.