Building on LWVUS’ Senate vote recommendation a few weeks ago, the League joined a letter by immigrant rights advocates urging Senators to oppose a COVID relief package amendment that threatened to deny survival checks to mixed-immigration status families. Fortunately, the coalition was successful and the amendment did not pass.
The Honorable Charles Schumer
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi:
We are writing to urge you to take immediate action to protect the inclusion of the 2.2 million U.S. citizen and lawfully present children currently included in the COVID-19 recovery provisions of the fiscal year 2021 Congressional budget reconciliation bill and to include ALL taxpayers, including those in immigrant families in COVID-19 relief. We also urge you to reject anti-immigrant amendments such as Senator Todd Young’s Amendment 54, which was introduced as part of the last budget resolution.
The original Young Amendment was written in such a way that it denied Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to U.S. citizens as well as their immigrant family members. This amendment was a purely political “poison pill” that would have done nothing to change who received stimulus payments, since undocumented immigrants were never included in the previous two relief packages. Senator Young is expected to introduce another similar amendment to the current package, threatening to harm both U.S. citizen and immigrant children and families. We must reject this attack on our nation’s ability to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
If our nation wants to recover from this economic and public health crisis, we must ensure that everyone is included in relief and recovery programs. Past relief legislation barred millions of immigrant taxpayers and their U.S. citizen family members from receiving critically-needed support, even though immigrants were disproportionately working essential jobs on the frontline pandemic response and experiencing higher levels of mortality due to COVID-19. In order for all of us to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone needs to be included in relief and recovery efforts.
Congress has excluded millions of immigrant and citizen taxpayers in the previous two rounds of stimulus payments through the CARES Act back in March and through H.R. 133 in December. The first round of CARES Act EIPs excluded 5.1 million mixed-status families if both spouses on the return did not have a work-authorized Social Security Number (SSN) and also excluded 9.3 million taxpayers who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The second round of EIPs included a partial fix introduced by Senator Rubio for 3 million citizens and SSN spouses married to immigrants, but still excluded 2.2 million U.S. citizen children and other kids with SSNs as well as the 9.3 million ITIN filers. Those children and taxpayers still have not seen a penny of relief a year into the pandemic.
To fully address this public health crisis and the economic hardships that our nation is enduring, we must provide relief for all who have contributed to the economy, suffered from the public health impacts of the pandemic, and are devastated by this economic downturn. Stimulus payments should cover all Americans and also include retroactive payments to those who were left out of the last two rounds of COVID relief.
Now is the time for bold leadership to address the critical needs of all our nation’s families. The health, prosperity, and success of our country demand this long-overdue relief, and we urge you to pass inclusive COVID-19 legislation now to ensure that no one is left behind so that all of us can recover together.
For Full List of Signatories see Attached Letter