Douglas Wilder warns Dems of voter backlash from $450K payouts to illegal immigrants

Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said Democrats will pay a price at the ballot box next year if they start cutting taxpayer-funded checks to illegal immigrants.

Mr. Wilder, the nation’s first black governor, said the Biden administration’s plan for payoffs, if successful, will dent the party’s image in the eyes of voters who feel left behind despite playing by the rules.

“When you are saying to the American people you are going to spend countless billions of dollars for people illegally here and those who have been here struggling to climb up the ladder for years have not been given a chance then that is going to be a problem,” Mr. Wilder said in an interview Thursday with The Washington Times.

The Biden administration is considering giving $450,000 checks to illegal immigrants who say they suffered emotional trauma from family separations under President Trump’s zero-tolerance border policy.

The payments would come as part of a settlement to resolve lawsuits the ACLU and other advocacy groups have filed on behalf of families and parents over the way they were treated during the Trump administration.

President Biden last week scoffed at the reported size of the payments but clarified over the weekend that he supports compensating illegal immigrant families that were separated on Mr. Trump’s watch.

“Now here’s the thing. If in fact because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you come across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child,” Mr. Biden said. “You lost your child. It’s gone. You deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance. What that will be, I have no idea.”

Mr. Wilder said Mr. Biden’s attempts to humanize the proposal fell flat. He said the responsibility of the government is to help people who “are already here and who have been forgotten.”

“What about people who have been here the entirety of their lives and never gotten anything?” said Mr. Wilder. “Balancing inequities is one thing, ignoring needs is another.”

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