In order to save money in the rough economy, Republicans are proposing denying child tax credits to undocumented immigrants. The plan would require parents looking to receive the tax credit to provide their Social Security number to receive the refund checks, which average about $1,800, ostracizing illegal workers. Were the proposal to go through, it would cut federal spending by approximately $10 billion over the course of 10 years. Needless to say Hispanics and some Democrats are enraged.
Some argue that the proposal punishes the children of illegal immigrants, many of whom are legal citizens by birth. Leticia Miranda, a National Council of La Raza senior policy advisor, stated her frustration according to Huffington Post, “People who are making close to minimum wage and are raising children in this country – and we’re asking them to pay for the payroll tax cut? It’s outrageous and it’s crazy!”
The rebuttal from the Republican side is that the real craziness stems from arguing about whether or not to give a tax break to people who snuck into the country in the first place. Illegal immigrants have already been kept from other tax credit refunds including the earned income tax credit for lower-income workers. In the past five years, however, there has been a four-fold increase in the amount of people filing tax returns without a Social Security number.
One alternative being considered is a proposal that would allow those filing for the tax credit to supply their child’s Social Security number as opposed to their own. This is a response to those advocating on the part of the children of undocumented immigrants
“We’re not in favor of fraudulent payments or payments that shouldn’t be made, but we don’t want to create obstacles to supporting low-income families who are trying to care for their children,” said Senator Dick Durbin an Illinois Democrat. “Even though the parent doesn’t have a Social Security number, they could still be entitled under their tax return, for a child tax credit.”