Democratic leaders included financial aid for undocumented immigrants in what would be the next relief package, which will be voted on this Friday in the House of Representatives.
The Heroes Act, also known as the CARES 2 Act, removes the requirement for a Social Security Number to obtain the funds. Under the package, powered by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, immigrants who file taxes with a Personal Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will receive the aid check.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and Pelosi, a Democrat from California, collaborate with members of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress to secure financial aid for all Americans, regardless of immigration status.
The American people need their government to act strongly, boldly, wisely.
The @HouseDemocrats’ Heroes Act is just what this crisis demands.
Senator McConnell & Senate Republicans should not repeat the mistakes made by President Hoover that helped lead to the Great Depression. pic.twitter.com/8XMo2VFCm1
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 12, 2020
However, the new $ 3 billion bill faces opposition from Republicans.
Representative Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Texas, told reporters on Monday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Republican leaders, oppose undocumented immigrants receiving federal funds.
Mixed families that filed joint taxes (citizen or legal resident with undocumented spouse) were excluded from the CARES Act, enacted on March 27.
Republicans defended their position by then, arguing that the exclusion of these families would help prevent immigrants without legal status from obtaining money from a program financed by US taxpayers, although these immigrants do pay federal taxes.
Democrats, for their part, say that not giving aid to undocumented immigrants is a way to punish American citizens, depriving them of their fundamental constitutional rights.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, had the same opinion last week during an interview with Telemundo.
“A person does not lose their rights as a US citizen just because they have married someone who does not have documents. And if that were the case, then I would intervene,” he said.
If progressed, this would be the fifth stimulus plan for Congress, although, just as the first four were the result of negotiations between the two parties, both parties are currently not discussing the current project.
Representative Chuy Garcia, a Democrat from Illinois, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the financial stimulus should extend to mixed families and taxpayers who file taxes with an ITIN number.
“American children have been denied help because their parents are undocumented … This exclusion is a slap in the face for many immigrants and their families,” said Garcia.
At least 9.9 million immigrants in the country do not have a work permit, according to calculations by the Institute for Migration Policies. Some 3.744 million children and 1.746 million spouses who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents depend on undocumented immigrants.
Most of those children and spouses live in California and Texas and other states with high Latino and immigrant populations.
In the case of aid checks, the text of the bill provides a refundable tax credit of $ 1,200 for each family member, similar to the Economic Impact Payments in the CARES Act.
The anticipated announcement did not offer a specific date.
The credit is $ 1,200 for each individual taxpayer ($ 2,400 for joint taxpayers), in addition to $ 1,200 per dependent up to a maximum of 3 dependents. The credit is gradually reduced from $ 75,000 in gross income ($ 112,500 for heads of household and $ 150,000 for joint taxpayers) at a rate of $ 5 per $ 100 of income.
Counting Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of $ 600 / wk as taxable could preclude unemployed workers from accessing assistance like #SNAP. I intro’d a bill to stop that. Good news: #HeroesAct ensures no one is made ineligible for other fed assistance due to these payments.
– Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) May 12, 2020
There are currently three lawsuits pending against the Treasury Department for discrimination: two from Americans married to undocumented immigrants and one more from children of undocumented immigrants who did not receive aid.