Congress Makes Progress on Stimulus Checks, Must Include Millions of American Children and their Parents
U.S. citizen children of non citizens should not be discriminated against because of the accidents of their birth
WASHINGTON, D.C. — While congressional leaders made significant progress by including stimulus checks in the next COVID-19 relief package, it is critical to make sure many Americans who were left out in the last round of stimulus checks including millions of American children and their noncitizen parents get the help they need to weather the pandemic including staying home when they are sick. That’s why a diverse group of business and labor leaders, immigrant advocates and faith-based leaders are calling on Congress to cover ALL American citizens, including U.S. citizen children regardless of where their parents were born. U.S. citizen children of non citizens should not be discriminated against because of the accidents of their birth.
Millions of Americans were left out of the stimulus checks issued in the spring because their spouse or parents were non-citizens. This included mothers and fathers of small children, veterans, essential healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID, people fighting cancer, and more.
In July, a coalition of more than 800 diverse organizations [signed a letter] asking members of Congress to include all of those who were left out in previous relief packages, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also urged Congress to include mixed status families. In September, several organizations including the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), the Sierra Club, SEIU, National Immigrant Law Center, The National LGBTQ Task Force and others released a video calling on Senate leaders to include mixed-status families in the next COVID-19 relief package. The exclusion of mixed-status families and individual ITIN filers from relief legislation is both deeply unfair and has disproportionately harmed the families hardest hit by the Covid 19 Pandemic.
“Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past by denying stimulus checks to Americans simply because of who they married or parented by. Fortunately, with negotiations taking place in Congress on a new stimulus bill, we can now correct this wrong. Including mixed status families would inject $2 billion into their local economies, helping small businesses and families stay afloat during these difficult times. Let’s put partisanship aside and put families and our economy first,” said Mike Fernandez, MBF Healthcare Partners Chairman & ABIC Co-Chair.
“Too many hard-working immigrant families have been shut out of all COVID19 relief. With immigrants continuing to be on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, interim Co-Executive Directors of the New York Immigration Coalition. “It’s time for Congress to stop playing petty politics with our lives and recognize that we can only recover together. As we enter the darkest winter, Congress must pass a relief package that provides stimulus checks to every family. History will remember the actions of our elected leaders today as pivotal to the lives of millions of immigrant families and our nation’s ability to combat COVID-19.”
“Immigrants and refugees are the backbone of our economy and have made invaluable contributions to our communities on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s long overdue for Congress to act to pass additional stimulus relief that includes all families, regardless of citizenship status. There is no recovery if it’s not inclusive – the future of our communities and our economy depends on it,” said Eva Millona, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).
“Mixed status families need to be included in any COVID economic relief that their tax dollars have paid for. I know families that are hungry, penniless and on the verge of homelessness. They need help to survive the pandemic and its disastrous economic effects. The virus does not discriminate and neither should our elected officials in determining who gets aid,” said Angelica Salas Executive Director of CHIRLA.
“Florida’s immigrant essential workers, essential consumers and essential taxpayers should absolutely be included in the stimulus. Its not only fair but smart,” said Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
“The CARES Act exclusion denied millions of U.S. citizen spouses and children from critical relief at a time when many need to stay home to protect public health or care for sick family members. 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 and are devastated by this economic downturn,” said Avideh Moussavian, Legislative Director, National Immigration Law Center (NILC).
“Millions of immigrants are contributing to our nation’s economic recovery as essential workers and taxpayers and we should provide the same economic assistance to all tax filers regardless of the immigration status of their family members,” said Kerri Talbot, Director of Federal Advocacy at the Immigration Hub.
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.