Children of illegal immigrants with US citizenship sued, without financial assistance due to coronavirus
On May 5, US citizens whose parents did not have documents filed a federal class action lawsuit for being excluded from the $ 2 trillion coronavirus relief package, writes NPR.
The lawsuit was filed with the Maryland Federal Court by the Institute for Constitutional Defense at Georgetown University Law Center with CASA, a nonprofit immigrant advocacy organization serving Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs were seven children aged 7 months to 9 years and their parents.
“My daughter is a US citizen,” said Carmen, a mother of one child from the trial, who did not want to give her full name due to immigration status.
“Like any other US citizen child, my daughter deserves equal rights, especially during this pandemic,” Carmen said. "This is injustice."
As job losses across the country continue to increase due to the pandemic, the Federal Coronavirus Aid Act, passed on March 27, provides the basic financial needs of millions of people who pay taxes using their social security number, but not their individual tax ID , or the ITIN used by Karen and many other illegal immigrants.
Each person eligible for federal assistance receives a check for $ 1200 if their income is less than $ 75, or $ 000 if the couple filed taxes together. If the income is higher, the amount changes. Children of individual taxpayers are also eligible for $ 2400 per child under the age of 500.
Carmen said that she pays income tax every year using her ITIN. Before the pandemic, she worked two jobs in the food industry - one in a food service company and the other in a pizzeria.
“This is the first time I've been left home without income,” she said. "I use my voice to advocate for my daughter's interests."
Carmen came to the United States from Lima, Peru, in 2001. She said she was worried about her future and the future of the child during the pandemic.
“This is a difficult reality we live in,” she said, pleading with government officials not to abandon such children during the crisis. “I hope that their hearts will soften and their minds will open to see that our children are also the future of the country.”
Mary McCord is the main class action lawyer.
"The lawsuit is based on a violation of the equal protection of the CARES Act, which discriminates against and excludes American children," said McCord, visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. "It is one thing to discriminate against undocumented immigrants, which our system does, but it is quite another thing to discriminate against children who are US citizens."
McCord estimates there are millions of children of illegal immigrants in the country. The lawyer says these young people are “being treated like second-class citizens” by being denied benefits under the CARES Act.
More importantly, according to McCord, it’s pointless to deny these U.S. citizens assistance benefits because they are already eligible for other community service programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Support or SNAP benefits, and temporary assistance for families in need , or TANF.
“Under the Constitution, US citizens cannot be discriminated against on the basis of foreign origin,” McCord said. “These children did not choose who to be born to, and yet they are treated differently from other US citizens. And that is why many other community service programs continue to reach children who are US citizens, because otherwise it would be discrimination. ”
Nicholas Katz, CASA Senior Legal Services Manager, said the implementation of the CARES Act is contrary to promises.
“The goal of the CARES Act is to help the most vulnerable members of our society during this difficult time,” Katz said. “Immigrants make up nearly a fifth of the [front-line] workers during this pandemic. It is absolutely outrageous that we rely on immigrant families to care for our loved ones and help us with basic supplies, and yet deny their children the support they are entitled to by US citizenship. ”
As ForumDaily wrote earlier:
- Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Foundation sued the federal government due to denial of coronavirus assistance to US citizens married to immigrants without social security numbers.
- According to the adopted package of financial assistance, there are categories of people who, despite the matching income level, will not receive assistance. Their list is here.
- The topic of government support is actively used by scammers. The schemes used by them and ways to protect themselves from them - link.
- On April 15, the IRS launched an online tool to help you enter your account information, track payments and receive money as soon as possible. For details on how to use it, read here.
- Most Americans will receive federal government aid payments for coronavirus automatically, but there are a few reasonsfor which payment may be delayed.
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