State House News Service
A group of 27 senators that included U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey wrote a letter last week asking Republican leadership to make tax-paying immigrant families eligible for relief payments from the CARES Act and future aid packages.
Warren, who is waiting to find out whether she’ll be campaigning for vice president this fall, and Markey, who is in a re-election primary race, signed the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday.
“Immigrants are disproportionately working in essential jobs to keep Americans healthy, safe, fed, and poised for economic recovery – often at great risk to their own lives and health,” the senators wrote. “Excluding immigrant families, many of which include U.S. Citizen children and spouses, from the federal government’s economic disaster relief response will impact our Nation’s ability to not only restore our economy but also to maintain critical essential services during the pandemic.”
The senators said that “at the vest least,” case assistance should be available to spouses and children in mixed-status immigrant families where there is at least one filer with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates 3.5 million children, many of whom are U.S. citizens, lived in such households.
“No one should be denied critical economic relief benefits they would otherwise be entitled to simply because they are part of a mixed-status family,” the senators wrote. Congress is currently debating the parameters of a new coronavirus relief package that could include another round of cash assistance for income-eligible families.