The proposal, which would require people who claim the federal credit to haveSocial 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.
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."
Illegal 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.
"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."
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.
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.
So here we go again. Illegals demanding to get money from tax payers and the liberal and Hispanic Democrats are cheering and whining right along with them.
I am not sure if I will ever understand how illegals get more help from our government than her own citizens? It doesn't make any sense. If an illegal is caught, first, make sure they are fingerprinted and documented. Second, they must comply with American immigration laws and follow proper procedure to work and live here, legally.
It's about time that our laws are obeyed by every American citizen. It is deplorable that hard working Americans are asked to pay for illegals to get all the freebies that they receive. It has to stop NOW. We simply cannot afford to continue supporting people that do not belong here.
I support profiling and checking ID's and absolutely MUST have a social security number if they intend to get a tax return.
Just yesterday, I had my social security card and driver's license copied before I was able to file for my tax return. And I have known my accountant for over 13 years! Not a big deal, I happily complied.