This week, The New York Times blasted the latest GOP scheme to punish immigrant families:
House Republicans have hit upon a noxious scheme to help pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut: a tax increase on millions of poor working families. A bill passed by the House and now in conference seeks to deny cash refunds under the child tax credit to those who file tax returns using “individual taxpayer identification numbers” issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Only those using Social Security numbers would be eligible.
The refundable portion of the child tax credit is a life-saver for the working poor. Families that would be cut off by this policy change make an average of $21,000 per year, according to the Treasury Department. They would lose an average of $1,800. About 80 percent of those families are Hispanic. The taxpayer identification numbers are used frequently, though not exclusively, by unauthorized immigrants to pay the taxes because they are not eligible for Social Security numbers. The I.R.S. accepts their tax payments and allows families to claim the child tax credit regardless of immigration status. This policy is an effective antipoverty tool that protects children, most of whom are American-born citizens.
The Republicans who have flatly rejected tax increases on the rich have settled instead on limiting this refund, which kept about 1.3 million children from falling into poverty in 2009.
America’s Voice is joining with our allies to stop this from happening. We need your help. Here’s the action alert from the National Immigrant Law Center:
Though 2012 has just begun, Congress is right now considering a tax change that will hurt children in mixed status families. Legislators have proposed funding a payroll tax break extension by denying critical tax credits for children in the lowest income immigrant families – even as millionaires are protected.
Under the House of Representatives’ proposal, a taxpayer or spouse must have a Social Security Number to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit – a tax credit that is designed to keep working families from falling into poverty. This means that millions of working immigrant families who file using the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number will effectively receive tax increases. It is expected that these families will lose on average $1,800 of much-needed tax credits, forcing immigrant parents to cut back on essential items for their children.
We need you to help us fight this change! On Wednesday and Thursday, NILC and other organizations are organizing a national call-in day to protect working immigrant families. Please call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and members of the tax package conference, and your representative to tell them that you OPPOSE funding the payroll tax credit on the backs of working families. (emphasis added)
Together, we must tell our legislators to live up to their pledge of fairness and equality and reject any changes to eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.
Please call (202) 224-3121. It really matters.