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Idaho senators cosponsor bill to block settlements for separated immigrant families

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., at night. (Courtesy of Russ Rohde/Getty Images)
RUSS ROHDE/Getty Images/Cultura RF
Cultura RF
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., at night. (Courtesy of Russ Rohde/Getty Images)

Idaho’s Republican U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are cosponsoring a bill to prevent the federal government from paying legal settlements to immigrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under the previous administration’s policies, according to a press release.

According to reporting from Roll Call, 5,636 migrant children were separated from their parents between July 2017 and President Donald Trump’s departure from office in January. During his campaign, President Joe Biden promised he would take action for those families, who he said were wronged by the former president’s zero tolerance policy.

Although it is unclear what the amount of the settlements would be, Biden has said he supports the idea of compensating immigrant families who were separated.

“The Biden administration continues to refuse to call the situation at the border what it is — a staggering and unprecedented crisis,” Crapo said in the release. “Proposals by this administration to reward illegal behavior on the backs of hardworking Americans struggling from rising inflation, supply chain shortages and increased costs is shortsighted and unacceptable. We should not be incentivizing further illegal immigration by rewarding illegal entry.”

The legislation is also cosponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. Twenty-five other Republican senators have also signed on to the legislation, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.