Monday | November 1st, 2021

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It’s Monday, November 1st, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Biden Admin Considers Cash Payments To Illegal Immigrants, 

The Topline: As the border crisis continues to worsen, the Biden administration is reportedly preparing to offer hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to illegal immigrant families separated at the border under President Trump.

Background

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the White House is considering a financial settlement with families separated at the border, potentially offering $450,000 per person. The potential move follows multiple lawsuits filed against the federal government for their handling of migrant families during the Trump administration. 

Most estimates put the number of migrant children separated from their parents during the Trump presidency at around 5,000, though it’s unclear at the moment how many would be eligible for payments under the current proposal. 

Josue Decavele/Getty Images

The Plan

Under the plan, payments would reportedly be made to the migrant families whether they’re currently living in the U.S. or not. Experts say that opens up a whole new set of legal issues, as the U.S. government would be wiring millions of dollars to individuals living in South and Central America, with little guarantee it gets to the right people.

The Reaction

Democrats say President Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policy which resulted in some families getting separated was overly cruel and in some cases unlawful. They also claim paying out a settlement now could protect the U.S. from potential legal action down the road if more families try to sue.

Republicans largely dispute the claim that any laws at the border were broken under President Trump, and say offering millions of dollars to those who came here illegally will send a dangerous message, and incentivize more illegal immigration. Many have also pointed out that $450,000 is more than most gold star families get after their loved ones are killed in action. 

Quote Of The Day

“To just say the value is more for someone who has broken our laws, and as a result there’s consequences. And now to say oh well we owe you money, and it’s more money than we would pay a patriot. I am outraged.”

-David Horton, father of Army Specialist Christopher Horton, who was killed in Afghanistan

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2) Texas Battles The Biden Administration

The Battle

The state of Texas is in a legal battle with the Biden Administration over the ongoing crisis at the southern border. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined Morning Wire for an exclusive conversation about his state’s actions. 

Background

More than 1.7 million people have crossed the border over the last fiscal year, a record. Paxton says much of the influx has been organized in part by cartels, who’ve helped organize human smuggling operations for profit.

Quote of the Day: “It has an inordinate effect on our state because we have to deal with the consequences of the crime, the drugs, the fentanyl, which kills people, the COVID spread, which kills people, and the expense of law enforcement. And we’re spending billions of dollars on the border. And the expense of taking care of these people, once they’re in our state.” 

According to Attorney General Paxton, the state has asked the Biden administration for help securing the border, but they’re requests have been denied. “The governor has asked for help, and they’ve explicitly said, no.”

DALLAS, TEXAS - JULY 11: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Border Wall

Paxton says the state has begun the process of partnering with the private sector to restart construction on portions of the border wall. “I think they’re in acquisition mode right now, they’re meeting with private property owners. Some are agreeing to allow their property to be used to have some type of a fence or barrier.” 

He went on to say that many in Texas feel the Biden administration is intentionally slowing the process of securing the border. “We’re doing our best, given that we are fighting against our own government to protect our own state and our own country.”

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3) Federal Government Pushes Americans To Buy Electric Cars

The Topline: In an effort to promote his climate change agenda, President Biden is exploring new ways to push more Americans to buy electric vehicles.

Background

Included in the latest multi-trillion dollar spending bill — which the White House as billed as “the largest effort to combat climate change in American history” — are numerous provisions for electric vehicles. 

The Numbers

On the consumer side, the bill would increase the electric vehicle tax credit from $7,500 to $12,500. This only applies to vehicles that are made in America with American materials and union labor.

In terms of the “made in America” requirement, it currently appears as if Tesla is the only carmaker which claims that 100% of the cars it sells in the US are built in the US. 

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Remember: Tesla recently moved its headquarters from California to Texas and appears to oppose unionization, so it’s not even clear whether this credit would be fully applicable for American consumers.

Quote of the Day: “We’ll build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, all across the country. So when you buy an electric vehicle — and you get credit for buying it —when you buy an electric vehicle, you can go all the way across America on a single tank of gas, figuratively speaking.”

-President Biden

Virginia Election Special

The highly anticipated election in Virginia for governor takes place tomorrow, and the final polls are showing some surprising results. Though Joe Biden won the state by 10 points in 2020, the highly favored Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, has seen his once-sizeable advantage collapse in the final weeks of the campaign. 

The most recent polls show McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin deadlocked, with RealClearPolitics’ average of the most recent polls showing the candidates in a statistical tie. A Washington Post poll released Friday shows McAuliffe edging Youngkin 49 percent to 48 percent among likely voters, while a Fox News poll found Youngkin leading by 8 points. Most polls now show Youngkin with a significant advantage among Independents, a reversal from two months ago. 

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