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Meng Helps to Introduce Legislation Seeking to Provide Coronavirus Relief Payments to Millions of Immigrants

Apr 3, 2020
Press Release
Measure would help those left out of last week’s third COVID-19 relief package
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) helped introduce legislation today that would provide coronavirus relief payments to millions of immigrants and immigrant families who are currently ineligible to receive these critical funds.
 
Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law the third COVID-19 relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748). The measure will provide checks of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child to help many taxpayers with the financial burden they are experiencing due to the coronavirus crisis. But the bill only allows the money to be sent to those who file their taxes with a Social Security number, leaving immigrants who use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) with nothing.
 
Under the legislation introduced today, entitled the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, tax filers with ITIN numbers would be eligible to receive these payments.
 
“The CARES Act had many good and crucial provisions in it to help working families affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Meng. “Unfortunately, excluding millions of working immigrants who use ITIN numbers was not one of them. Although the House Democrats’ Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act would have allowed payments to those with ITIN numbers, it was unfortunately not included in the Senate’s CARES Act which was the version that was ultimately passed and enacted into law. Just like millions of American citizens, working immigrants, and mixed-status families, are falling on hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They too have bills to pay and loved ones to support. And many immigrants fortunate to still have a job are among the essential employees who are risking their health and safety by working on the frontlines during this outbreak. We must immediately right this wrong and help our hard-working immigrant communities receive this needed assistance. In addition to this bill, I will be fighting for this issue in Congress’ fourth coronavirus relief package. No family should be left behind in the relief and recovery efforts. After all, the coronavirus does not distinguish immigration status – neither should our federal response.”
 
The measure is sponsored by Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Meng is an original cosponsor.