Beatriz was 3 years old when U.S. authorities separated her from her father, Jairo, shortly after they arrived from Guatemala at the U.S. border on Christmas Eve 2017. He was detained and developed pneumonia. She was sent to New York, where a woman who took her in hit her so hard with a belt that it left a scar, she told her dad.

Ana fled Guatemala a few months later with her sons Jaime, 8, and Mateo, 7, and she says U.S. officials separated them for seven weeks, adding that Mateo still cannot bathe alone, sleep by himself or stand to be apart from his mother.

These are two of the many allegations behind at least 19 lawsuits — and hundreds of administrative complaints — filed against the federal government by migrants who say their children were separated from them by the Trump administration. The plaintiffs, who use pseudonyms in their legal filings to protect their privacy, are seeking financial compensation after enduring what was widely regarded as one of President Donald Trump’s harshest policies.

But now, much of the anger surrounding the issue has been redirected toward President Biden, threatening to escalate into a bigger furor as he embarks on his second year in office. Negotiations between the administration and the families’ attorneys over a monetary settlement broke down in December, and the lawsuits are starting to resume in court, some this week.

That pits administration lawyers against immigrants who had their children seized — a legally and politically perilous scenario for a president whose support from Latinos and liberals is already shaky.

In a sign of the difficult fight ahead, lawyers in one case refiled motions Tuesday to compel the government to turn over “tens of thousands” of internal documents, including 10,000 pages of Justice Department “emails, records, and handwritten notes” about Trump’s separation policy. The motions had been set aside while talks were underway.

Such clashes could play into a tough political dynamic. On the left, immigration activists are accusing Biden of failing to live up to his promise to repair the damage inflicted by Trump. On the right, critics are seizing on a report that the administration was in talks to pay people up to $450,000 each, saying that amounts to coddling people who sought to cross the border illegally.

A year after taking office, Biden’s efforts to unwind the Trump immigration policies he sharply condemned have been messy, sporadic and politically fraught. After moving quickly to curb some of his predecessor’s most controversial approaches, Biden has, in some key ways, adopted a more restrictive posture toward migrants in recent months.

Some activists accuse the administration of cowardice….

But some Democrats contend that if the administration does end up paying the families significant damages, it would be politically less complicated for Biden to explain he was forced by the courts to do so….

To many conservatives, meanwhile, it is outrageous that the United States would pay big sums to people who, as they see it, caused their own problems by trying to enter the country illegally….

And liberals are equally upset by the notion that the government could seize someone’s children, then neglect to do right by them, particularly when some parents were never ultimately charged with a crime….



Some say let the cases go to judges to be settled and blame them…

Not Biden…