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.