Mixed status couples locked out of COVID-19 aid

Upwards of two million citizens and their citizen children (estimated four million) are barred from any pandemic stimulus payment ($1200 for parent, $500 per child) because their spouses do not have a social security number. This was a deliberate act by the Senate to punish a class of citizen, in light of the fact that the Senate did allow stimulus payments to these citizens and their children if they are a member of the military.

On April 28, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed the federal suit on behalf of six U.S. citizens who were denied federal stimulus checks because they filed joint tax returns with spouses who use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to pay taxes. ITINS are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to non-citizens who lack a social security number so they can pay taxes. The spouse is very likely paying payroll deductions and income taxes.

One plaintiff is a United States citizen who lives with her husband and three U.S. citizen children in Frederick, Maryland. They have been married for 6 years.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that close to two million U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents are married to undocumented immigrants. Four million children in the U.S. share a home with at least one parent who is unauthorized.

One Response to “Mixed status couples locked out of COVID-19 aid”

  1. Tom Lynch says:

    That’s pretty powerful, Peter. There’s a special place in the eighth circle of hell for the folks who did this. Thanks for writing about it.

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