Congressional Tax Proposals Target Immigrant Children

As many as 5 million immigrant children across the country could be harmed.

Published on Nov 21, 2017 in Economic Justice, Immigrants' Rights

Both the Senate and House tax plans deny crucial working-family tax credits to some immigrant children, putting these working class families at greater risk of poverty.

These proposals include provisions taking away the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and its refundable component, the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), from children without Social Security numbers. Restricting the CTC to filers using Social Security numbers could impact as many as 5 million children of taxpaying parents in immigrant families, the majority of whom are U.S. citizens, and 1 million of whom are young DREAMers. The House bill also threatens to deny access to the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a critical support that helps college students get the education they need to access economic opportunities, to immigrants without Social Security numbers.

Currently, taxpayers can claim the Child Tax Credit as long as that child lives in the U.S. – even if their dependent child does not have a Social Security number.

In New Jersey, there are about 49,000 undocumented children who lack a Social Security number, many of whom live in mixed status households with siblings or other family members who are U.S. citizens.

Targeting children in immigrant families would directly harm these kids and their families, harm local economies that benefit from the economic multiplier effects of working-family tax credits and discourage immigrants from filing their taxes.