(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08) today joined Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA - 46), Judy Chu and Raúl Grijalva, introducing the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act to amend the CARES Act to ensure that all taxpayers are eligible for a $1,200 relief check, including immigrants who pay taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) in lieu of Social Security Numbers.
Rep. Lou Correa said, “I was appalled to learn hardworking, taxpaying immigrants were left out of the $2 trillion CARES Act. These taxpayers work in critical sectors of our economy, like agriculture, and contribute greatly to our country. While many of us sit at home, these hardworking immigrants are still at work in our hospitals, our fields, and countless other industries. The coronavirus doesn’t care about a person’s wealth, job, or immigration status. By casting out immigrants, we are placing some of our most vulnerable residents in grave danger. Every individual taxpayer, irrespective of citizenship status, needs government assistance now.”
Rep. Judy Chu said, “The CARES Act is meant to help our whole economy survive this crisis. You cannot do that by excluding entire segments of the population. This virus does not care about immigration status. It does not discriminate and neither should we. Immigrants own businesses and homes, support families, and pay rent, and contribute to their communities. Making it impossible for them to receive the same benefit we are sending to everyone else just means those immigrants will have a harder time affording food or rent, and that leaves us all worse off. I hope to see this corrected in the next relief package.”
Rep. Grijalva said, “Immigrants—regardless of their status—are taxpayers who are working in some of the most important jobs keeping our economy running during this difficult time. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It impacts all communities and people of all backgrounds. Our relief programs shouldn’t discriminate against those who need help during this crisis, and this legislation ensures that immigrants with ITINs can get the economic relief they deserve.”
The legislation is also cosponsored by Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Rep. Tony Cardenas, Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Rep. Chuy Garcia, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Nanette Barragan, Rep. Gil Cisneros, Rep. TJ Cox, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep James McGovern, Rep. Watson Coleman, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Veronica Escobar, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Rep Jose Serrano, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, Rep. Marc Veasey, Rep. Danny Davis, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Gerald Connolly, Rep. Lucille Royal Allard, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr, Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Alce Hastings, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Julia Brownley, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.
BACKGROUND: The Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act seeks to amend the CARES Act to include eligible individuals with an ITIN. Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which will provide millions of Americans with direct aid. However, the CARES Act does not provide economic assistance to taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, excluding immigrants who are amongst the most vulnerable during this outbreak.
Every individual taxpayer irrespective of citizenship status should receive government assistance. With more than 140,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, it is imperative we come together. This pandemic has led to the closure of many small businesses, which will have a disproportionate impact on immigrants. The “Leave No Taxpayer Behind” Act will ensure immigrants critical to our economy are not forgotten.