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Republicans seek to deny tax credits to children of illegal immigrants

Posted by Administrator on February 11, 2012

Some Latinos and Democratic lawmakers are upset at the Republican proposal to  deny child tax credits to undocumented immigrants.

The proposal, which would require people who claim the federal credit to have Social  Security numbers to prove they’re legal workers, is being offered as a way  to help pay for extending the Social Security tax cut for most American  wage-earners. It would trim federal spending by about $10 billion over a  decade.

Senate Majority Leader Harry  Reid of Nevada says the proposal unfairly goes after the children of poor  Hispanic workers. Such kids often are U.S. citizens, even when their parents  aren’t, because they were born in this country.

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Says Leticia Miranda, senior policy adviser of the National Council of La  Raza: “People who are making close to the minimum  wage and are raising children in this country — and we’re asking them to pay  for the payroll tax cut?” She says, “It’s outrageous and it’s crazy.”

On the other side, Republicans and some Democrats say what’s crazy is even  having a debate over whether the government should be cutting checks to people  who have sneaked into the country illegally. It’s hard to imagine there isn’t a  healthy majority, even in the Democratic-controlled Senate, to stop the practice — if it’s actually brought to a vote.

“We have rules about tax credits and benefits, and it seems to me they need  to be applied fairly and across the board,” said Democrat Sen. Claire  McCaskill, who is facing a difficult re-election bid in Missouri. “If there  are rules, they need to be enforced. I think it’s just that simple. I don’t  think it’s complicated.”

Undocumented immigrants have been barred from other refundable tax credits — in which low-income workers not only don’t owe income taxes but receive payments  from the government — such as the earned income tax credit. Such credits are a  popular anti-poverty tool in part because a recipient has to hold a job to  receive the benefit.

But a 1997 law enacting a $500 per-child tax credit doesn’t specifically  exclude undocumented immigrants from collecting. It was significantly expanded  in 2001 to gradually reach $1,000, and rules were eased so that many more people  could get it on a refundable basis. It was made more generous in 2009 so that  more taxpayers could claim the credit or claim a larger amount. The expanded  credit is slated to expire at the end of the year along with other Bush-era tax  cuts and return to $500 per child, though it’s commonly assumed that it will  remain up to $1,000 per child.

“Although the law prohibits aliens residing without authorization in the  United States from receiving most federal public benefits, an increasing number  of these individuals are filing tax returns claiming this refundable credit,”  Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, said when the House debated the payroll tax cut  measure in December. “Illegal immigrants bilked $4.2 billion from the U.S.  taxpayers (in 2010). I think that it’s time that we fixed it.”

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The situation has Democrats in a box. If they fight the GOP effort to cut  back payments of the tax credit, they’ll be favoring the delivery of refunds to  people who not only don’t owe income taxes but aren’t supposed to be in the  country in the first place.

What’s more, closing the loophole would raise real money — an estimated $10  billion over 10 years under the approach favored by House Republicans.

The Treasury Department says that in the 2010 filing year more than $4  billion in child credit refunds went to 2.3 million people who filed tax returns  but didn’t have Social Security numbers proving they were citizens or legal  workers. That’s a four-fold increase over five years earlier.

On the other side are politically influential Hispanic groups, a key  Democratic-friendly constituency. Opponents of tightening eligibility for the  child tax credit point out that six of every seven affected families are  Hispanic, with an average household income of about $21,000. Tax credits of up  to $1,000 per child and make a huge difference at such income levels.

Hispanics point out that in many instances the tax credit goes to workers who  aren’t citizens but whose children are — because they’ve been born in the  country and therefore have Social Security numbers of their own. They say such  children should reap the benefit of the tax credit just like other children in  comparable economic circumstances.

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“I just think the child tax credit is working just fine and there’s no need  to punish children,” Sen. Reid said last week. “We’re supposed to try to be  helping them.”

One option under consideration is to require tax filers to supply a Social  Security number for the child when claiming the tax credit instead of requiring  that at least one of the parents possess one. That would respond to criticism  that the GOP proposal is unfair to the citizen 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 Sen. Dick  Durbin, D-Ill. “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.”

Congress needs to find about $160 billion between now and the end of the  month to cover the costs of extending through Dec. 31 a Social Security tax cut  averaging about $20 a week for 160 million workers, federal unemployment  benefits for the long-term jobless and unreduced Medicare fees for doctors. All  are now due to expire Feb. 29

Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/02/09/republicans-target-tax-credits-for-undocumented-immigrants/#ixzz1m2zL3v9R

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One Response to “Republicans seek to deny tax credits to children of illegal immigrants”

  1. I just hope republicans win. This is gonna be a very good country.Women are taking advantage of us men, gettting thmeselves pregnant so that we can pay them child support and the kids give them tax credit.That’s why women are not caring who they sleep with even if its their father or grandfather. They need to be denied and get deported…nkt!! #keepingmyfingersclosedandloving it#

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