Coronavirus Relief Package Fails to Provide Aid to Millions of Immigrants, Including Many on the Front Lines

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on Friday, March 27. The $2 trillion stimulus package goes a long way to improve our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But it fails to deliver for millions of immigrants across the country, including first responders who are on the front lines fighting against the virus.

Here’s what you should know about who is excluded from the CARES Act:

Many Immigrant Families Won’t Receive Direct Payments

Millions of immigrant families across the United States will not benefit from the $2 trillion in COVID-19 relief money contained in the package. It provides direct payments on a sliding scale of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, depending on income and immigration status.

Only those with a Social Security number who have a green card or are “resident aliens” will qualify. This includes people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). But many people who meet these prerequisites will still be disqualified from receiving cash payments if they have a spouse or child who does not have a valid Social Security number.

The impact will be significant. Many mixed status families will be disqualified from receiving payments from the government. They can be excluded even if the head of household has status in the United States and is paying taxes.

Recent estimates indicate that 16.7 million people live with at least one unauthorized family member. This includes approximately 5.1 million U.S. citizen children under the age of 18.

While most unauthorized immigrants don’t have valid Social Security numbers, many still pay federal, state, and local income taxes by using an Individual Tax Identifying Number.

An estimated 4.3 million adults and 3.5 million children will be disqualified from direct payments even though they regularly file their taxes and contribute to the tax base.

By Jorge Loweree for IMMIGRATION IMPACT
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