The CARES Act Does Not Care about All Families
At a time when Americans are desperate for economic relief, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) leaves millions of law-abiding American families empty handed.
The CARES Act, which President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020, prohibits approximately 1.2 million Americans who are married to non-resident aliens from receiving stimulus checks. However, discriminating against law-abiding families based on alienage, and infringing on the fundamental right to marry, violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Our client and his two young children are American citizens. However, because his wife was brought to this country from Belize at the age of six and has yet to gain her citizenship, the family is ineligible for relief, even though he pays his taxes and is suffering from the same Coronavirus-related economic stress as the rest of the country. “We’re having to dip into our savings,” said Plaintiff, “yet we don’t get the same benefits of every other tax-paying family simply because of who I love.”
Our client and his family are not alone. The IRS estimates 4.3 million adults who don’t have Social Security numbers file taxes using an ITIN, yielding more than $9 billion in annual payroll taxes. Worse yet, foreign-born workers are significantly more likely to be employed in hard-hit sectors, like service occupations, natural resources, construction, and maintenance. On May 5, we filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court to protect the rights of our client and millions of others.
“The CARES Act forces our client to choose between his wife and a stimulus check. That is fundamentally un-American and unconstitutional. It is an attack on immigrants and an affront to the American family.” – Matt Matern
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