U.S. citizen married to illegal immigrant sues U.S. government over not receiving stimulus check

The class action complaint names President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin but doesn’t mention House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Updated: April 27, 2020 - 11:41am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A U.S. citizen married to an illegal immigrant has filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government over not receiving a coronavirus stimulus check.

The plaintiff has filed the lawsuit “individually and on behalf of” every U.S. citizen married to an illegal immigrant who filed joint tax returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

The class action complaint was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois Eastern Division, an attorney for the plaintiff told Just the News on Monday.

 The complain names President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "in their official capacities and not in their individual capacities" as the "three persons and/or offices most responsible for the conduct alleged herein." 

According to the IRS, the agency “issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number.”

Under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed, U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents married to illegal immigrants do not qualify for $1,200 direct stimulus payments.

“Plaintiff Doe is married to an immigrant who pays taxes and files tax returns with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” the complaint reads. “Had plaintiff not been married to an immigrant, plaintiff and his children would have otherwise qualified for a stimulus check."

The complaint cites data from the Migration Policy Institute, which reports that “there are 1.2 million Americans married to immigrants who do not hold Social Security numbers.” Illegal immigrants who file individual or joint tax returns with tax ID numbers are not eligible for stimulus payments.

“Of the 1.2 million Americans, those who file joint tax returns and are not in the military are ineligible for a Stimulus Check and deprived of the benefit(s) and/or privilege(s) conferred upon all other U.S. citizens who otherwise qualify,” reads the complaint.

Eligible recipients based on income receive $1,200 payments as well as $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.

More 20 House Democrats have proposed legislation that would allow U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants who file joint tax returns to each receive stimulus payments.

More than 50 House Democrats have also signed on to legislation that would amend the CARES Act so every illegal immigrant who filed tax returns without a Social Security number can receive stimulus payments from the IRS.

Just the News Spotlight