The stimulus checks are meant to act as financial help during the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s anticipated that legal permanent residents and green card holders will receive assistance, immigrants who work in the U.S. and pay taxes, but aren’t legal citizens, will be excluded. Additionally, U.S. citizens won’t receive aid if there are unauthorized immigrants in their families or if there are immigrants who are in the legalization process but don’t have Social Security cards—also called mixed-status families. Unauthorized immigrants with U.S. citizen children also get nothing.
“The CARES Act excludes unauthorized immigrants and most U.S. citizens or legal immigrant spouses who file taxes jointly with unauthorized immigrants or immigrants without a Social Security number, making an exception for military families,” The Dallas Morning News writes.
MarketWatch reports that around 4.3 million “mostly” unauthorized immigrants file taxes with a taxpayer identification number rather than a Social Security number.
When pressed about unauthorized immigrants will recover from the pandemic’s financial hardships without aid, Donald Trump said that jobless citizens are his first concern. “It’s a really sad situation, and we are working on it. I will tell you I’m not going to give you a hard and fast answer because I just want to tell you it’s something I think about,” Trump said.
Democratic U.S. representatives from California and Arizona have introduced legislation that would permit immigrants to collect aid. Called the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, the bill seeks to modify the CARES Act and include taxpayers with ITINs.
“COVID-19 does not care about your immigration status, so neither should our response,” U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, said in a statement.
The government began sending stimulus checks in mid-April. People with Social Security numbers and earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,200. The payments decrease for those who make more. A dependent—who is a U.S. citizen child—qualifies for an additional $500, along with the $1,200 for each eligible parent.
Though some U.S. citizens won’t receive checks, many legal permanent immigrants will if they have Social Security numbers and file taxes.