Attacks on Immigrants in Budget Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Senators Urged Not to Agree to Attacks on Low-Wage Immigrants in Budget Blueprint

WASHINGTON — As congressional conservatives continue advancing legislative attacks against immigrants and President Obama’s recent immigration relief initiatives, nearly 100 national and state religious, medical, labor, children’s and anti-poverty advocacy organizations are urging senators to steer clear of budget proposals that would hurt low-wage immigrants.

At issue are proposals expected to be offered during the Senate budget debate that would strip eligibility for tax credits from millions of children and their working, tax-paying immigrant families. These proposals are the latest in a series of efforts by conservative lawmakers to deprive immigrants of all economic supports, including tax credits earned through the work they do and the taxes they pay.

“The Budget Resolution must not be used to further impoverish low-wage immigrants by changing tax law and disallowing eligibility for the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the refundable Child Tax Credit,” states a letter sent Tuesday to senators by the National Immigration Law Center and dozens of advocacy groups.

“Immigrant workers perform some of the most essential jobs that make up the backbone of our economy and immigrant families make significant tax contributions at every level,” including local, state and federal income taxes, as well as payroll taxes that support the Social Security and Medicare systems, the letter explained. “Despite these significant tax contributions, most immigrant workers may never be eligible to collect their earned benefits.” Undocumented immigrants are denied federal safety-net assistance, including help through the food stamp program (known as SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and nonemergency Medicaid.

“The choice is clear. Congress can produce a budget blueprint that protects our economy and maximizes the contributions of immigrant workers, or it can go home for its two-week spring break and explain to taxpayers why their pocketbooks are being emptied to pay for lawmakers’ attacks against immigrants,” said Ellen Sittenfeld Battistelli, a policy analyst with the National Immigration Law Center. “Congress can do right by the taxpayers and abandon these senseless attacks. It can go even further by working on long-term immigration reform that would produce greater economic benefits for everyone.”

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