Last week, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced an amendment to several pieces of legislation that would eliminate the refundable Child Tax Credit for many immigrant families.
The tax credit, which is estimated to affect up to one million low-income migrant families, reduces child poverty by alleviating some of the costs of raising a child. We have seen legislation threatening this tax credit before and stood together opposing measures that would take away resources to meet the basic needs of children in our communities.
Different ways of eliminating this credit for mixed-status families was offered as a way to pay for both a three-month unemployment benefit extension and a cost of living reduction for military retirees. The latest version of the amendment requires taxpaying parents to file with their child’s Social Security number in order to receive the credit. While proponents of the amendment argue that it makes a step towards preventing fraud and abuse in the tax system, this requirement would result in denying this vital tax credit to migrant parents.
As people of faith, we welcome measures that care for the vulnerable. Passing this amendment would mean compromising the already restricted ability of migrant families to put food on the table or pay for clothing or shelter. Through LIRS’s work with migrant children, churches, and communities, I have seen countless examples of the benefits of investing time and resources in youth. We must ensure all children have adequate food, resources, and support to prepare them to become our next generation of leaders.
We pray that members of Congress see the value in investing in all children and stand with us in welcoming the newcomer and protecting vulnerable children.