200+ Groups Say GOP Tax Plans Hurt Immigrant Children: Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Reject “anti-child and anti-immigrant proposals”

Washington, D.C., November 15, 2017 – More than 200 organizations Wednesday sent Members of Congress a joint letter opposing tax legislation advanced by Republican leadership of the United States Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter, led by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), focuses on provisions that will drive up child poverty by denying tax benefits to immigrant children. It was signed by dozens of other local, state, and national organizations, ranging from the National Association of Social Workers and the National Education Association to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and UnidosUS.

“This letter sends a clear message to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle: attacks on immigrant families face fierce opposition from national and local leaders all over America,” said Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

The letter focuses on provisions of the House and Senate tax bills that would deny the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and its refundable portion to children who lack a Social Security Number (SSN). Both bills directly target approximately 1 million DREAMer children and their families, threatening to drive them into poverty. Targeting any children in a family will harm the family as a whole – and over 5 million children live in mixed-status households. The House proposal includes similar provisions restricting eligibility for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps students access postsecondary education.

The CTC alone lifts 1.5 million children out of poverty every year and alleviates poverty’s impact for millions more. Its average value for children affected by this change is $1,800. Research shows that comparable income increases correlate with increased reading and math test scores, and children who receive tax credits are more likely to attend college and have higher lifelong earnings. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Latino children and young children are more likely than their peers to live in poverty. Additional information about the issue is available in a companion fact sheet.

“It’s as simple as it is brutal – any lawmaker who supports this bill is voting to increase child poverty,” said Olivia Golden, CLASP’s executive director.