Democrats push for illegal immigrants to get coronavirus stimulus cash
Some Democrats are demanding that stimulus payments as part of the coronavirus response include illegal immigrants — part of an ongoing effort to eliminate all barriers to public assistance for those in the country without documentation.
The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump gives small business loans and assistance to individuals in the form of direct payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The latter is distributed to those with Social Security numbers.
While that includes working legal immigrants — like those here on nonimmigrant (temporary) work visas — who have Social Security numbers in order to be able to work legally in the U.S., it does not include those who are here illegally.
Illegal immigrants are not eligible for a Social Security number, so they neither pay income taxes nor file taxes via an Individual Taxpayer Identity Number (ITIN).
The IRS describes “a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number.” This includes illegal immigrants.
Democratic lawmakers have seized on that distinction to claim that “hardworking immigrants” will be left out of the payments — although working legal immigrants will not be.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who has called for “Medicare-for-all” programs that would include health care for illegal immigrants, has also complained about the limiting of benefits to those with Social Security numbers.
To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers, NOT immigrants w/ tax IDs (ITINs).
Thanks to GOP, these checks will be cut off the backs of *taxpaying immigrants,* who get nothing. Many are essential workers who pay more taxes than Amazon.
Wall St gets $4T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 26, 2020
Some in Congress are making moves to expand benefits to include ITIN holders.
“I was appalled to learn hardworking, taxpaying immigrants were left out of the $2 trillion CARES Act. These taxpayers work in critical sectors of our economy, like agriculture, and contribute greatly to our country. While many of us sit at home, these hardworking immigrants are still at work in our hospitals, our fields, and countless other industries,” Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Correa and other Democrats have proposed the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, which would specifically include ITIN holders.
Other members have sought different methods but with the same goal — getting stimulus money into the hands of illegal immigrants as fast as possible.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has proposed the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act, which would give debit cards preloaded with $2,000 to “every person in America.” That would include “non-citizens, including undocumented people, permanent residents, and temporary visitors whose stay exceeds three months.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., captured these concerns when she crossed out the words “illegal immigrants” in a New York Post story, and replaced it with “American taxpayers.”
There, fixed it for you pic.twitter.com/Ttd2iAAlVr
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 8, 2020
“There, fixed it for you,” she tweeted.
That message is being echoed in liberal states as well, where action specifically to help those who illegally entered the United States is underway.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature are working on a coronavirus aid plan for the state’s illegal immigrants and others not covered by the federal government’s $2.2 trillion relief package.
“Californians care deeply about undocumented residents in this state,” Newsom said.
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C.,’s tourism arm announced that it will include $5 million specifically for illegal immigrants who had been left out of employment benefits and other forms of assistance, according to The Washington Post.