When Immigration Status Affects Your Stimulus Check

A federal class-action lawsuit was filed this week on behalf of six U.S. citizens who say they didn’t get federal COVID-19 relief because their spouse doesn’t use a Social Security number.

By Alexandra HartApril 30, 2020 3:49 pm, , ,

This week, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of six U.S. citizens who say they were unconstitutionally denied economic stimulus payments through the CARES Act because their spouse is an immigrant without a Social Security number.

Dianne Solis, an immigration reporter for The Dallas Morning News, told Texas Standard Thursday that so-called mixed-status families were excluded from the law that enabled the stimulus checks.

Plaintiffs argue the law “doesn’t provide them due process” as afforded by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, Solis said.

There are approximately 2 million mixed-status families in America.

She said the reason a person doesn’t have a Social Security number varies: they could be working in the U.S. without authorization, or they could be in the process of becoming a legal resident and awaiting their Social Security card.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Whether there’s a constitutional basis for the plaintiffs’ lawsuit

– How the government can determine mixed-status families through their jointly filed tax returns

– How workers without Social Security numbers still pay payroll taxes

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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