Citizen children of undocumented immigrants filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Tuesday, saying they should be allowed to collect money from the economic relief fund even though their parents do not qualify, BuzzFeed News reported.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, allowed families to receive up to $500 per child under age 17 as well as $1,200 per eligible adult.
But those in the country illegally do not qualify for the $1,200 payment, even though they pay taxes. That is because they do not have Social Security numbers. They pay their taxes through an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN.
Their children do have Social Security numbers, but the CARES Act requires every member of a family to have a Social Security number, and minor children can qualify for the payments only through their parents.
Lawyers from the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center, which brought the suit on behalf of the children, noted in court papers the children in such homes have parents who cannot collect unemployment benefits and also are more likely to have a job hit by the coronavirus pandemic such as food services, cleaning, retail, and child care.
Undocumented immigrants have access to other federal programs for citizen children such as the federal child tax credit, food stamps, welfare, and housing benefits, the lawsuit notes.
The lawsuit also says denial of the benefits of children of undocumented immigrants is unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment because they are being treated differently than other U.S. citizen children.
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