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Mixed-Status Families Denied Federal Assistance

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Across the country, millions of U.S. citizens were excluded by the CARES Act from receiving a stimulus check due to filing taxes jointly with an immigrant spouse. During a recent virtual press conference organized by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, restaurant owner and mother of two Alaina Silva gave voice to families affected by this provision. You can watch the full presentation here.


A provision in the CARES Act disqualifies mixed-status families from receiving a stimulus check, identified by persons using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, the legal alternative to a Social Security Number for immigrants. For mixed-status couples, filing taxes jointly is part of proving the legitimacy of their marriage to eventually gain legal status. Advocates observe that this provision seemingly penalizes immigrants and their families for following the rules by paying federal income and Social Security taxes. The HEROES Act, passed by Congress on May 15, seeks to amend this provision and even retroactively distribute stimulus checks to persons previously excluded under the CARES Act. The Senate is expected to debate this legislature, consisting of another $3 trillion in economic aid, this week.

Raleigh Burleigh was raised in the historic floodplanes of Satank. The Carbondale Rotary Club sponsored him as a youth ambassador to Chile the year before his graduation from Roaring Fork High School. He studied International Affairs and Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder then applied those studies traveling throughout South America the following year. Returning to Carbondale thereafter, Raleigh acquired an internship with KDNK News which led to the opportunity to serve as News Director from 2017 to 2019. After another trip to South America in early 2019, Raleigh Burleigh drew deeper into the confluence as Program Director at KDNK. Raleigh now serves on KDNK's board of directors and as editor of Carbondale's weekly newspaper, The Sopris Sun.
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