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Dems want illegal aliens to get stimulus payments if filing jointly with legal spouses

Ilhan Omar calls it 'absurd and cruel' that 'mixed status families' are excluded from coronavirus relief payments.

Updated: April 27, 2020 - 9:04am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents who are married to illegal immigrants are not eligible to receive $1,200 stimulus payments under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has introduced a bill to change that and allow each partner in a mixed status couple — legal and illegal — to receive coronavirus stimulus payments for a total of $2,400, if they filed joint tax returns.

Eligible recipients also receive $500 per child under 17 listed on their tax return for 2018 or 2019. The income ceiling for the full payments is $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers.

Under the CARES Act, which passed the Democrat-led House of Representatives with a voice vote last month, anyone who filed a joint tax return with an illegal immigrant who uses a tax ID number in place of a Social Security number (SSN) is not eligible for the payments.

Omar's bill, titled the Recovery Rebates Improvement Act, would "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow 2020 recovery rebates for individuals filing a joint return if one spouse satisfies the valid identification number requirement."

Omar has called it “absurd and cruel” that “mixed status families” are excluded from coronavirus relief payments.

The legislation seeks to ensure that "joint tax filers with one SSN will receive payment and provide more people with vital economic assistance."

The bill currently has 23 Democratic co-sponsors, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Immigration attorney Gerald LeMelle wrote on his law firm's website that the eligibility requirements in the CARES Act mean that "many H-1B and other work-authorized nonimmigrants will not be eligible for a recovery rebate if they filed a joint income tax return with a spouse who is not eligible for, and thus does not have, a Social Security number."

Some people have taken to social media to voice their frustration over individuals with Social Security numbers not receiving coronavirus stimulus money if they filed joint returns with their spouses who lack a legal immigration status.

"It’s very unfair to a LARGE group of people for blocking stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants and their spouses even if one of them is a citizen. I don’t understand the logic behind that at all," wrote one user.

"I want to know why are US citizens who married to undocumented spouses and have US citizen children not receiving their stimulus payment," a different user tweeted at the IRS Twitter account.

A Twitter user asked Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) about the issue of mixed status filers not receiving stimulus payments,

“What are you doing to help your mixed-status family constituents who received 0 relief under the Care Act? We are US citizens with spouses who file with ITINS so our families (children included) get nothing!” she wrote.

Omar and more than 50 other House Democrats have also called for the CARES Act to be amended so every illegal immigrant who filed tax returns without a Social Security number can receive stimulus payments from the IRS.