Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC
Published March 23, 2021
By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] –
The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 2.65 million illegal immigrants have Social Security numbers and, because of their income threshold and number of children they have, are eligible to receive federal stimulus checks.
In a new report, CIS estimates that illegal immigrants could receive an estimated $4.38 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed by Democrats along party lines.
Two weeks ago, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that illegal immigrants would be receiving $1,400 checks through the legislation and introduced an amendment to stop it. Democrats rejected the amendment.
“Undocumented immigrants do not have Social Security numbers, and they do not qualify for stimulus relief checks, period,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said.
Responding to Durbin’s claim, Steven Camarota, director of research at CIS, said, “This is incorrect; we estimate that there are 2.65 million illegal immigrants who have Social Security numbers that allow them to receive stimulus checks. We estimate that 2.1 million of these individuals have incomes low enough to qualify for checks, and they have 1.1 million U.S.-born dependent children. As a result, illegal immigrants could receive an estimated $4.38 billion in cash payments from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11 by President Joe Biden, provides $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals making up to $75,000 a year or heads of households who make up to $112,500. For married couples filing jointly, both would qualify for $1,400 checks if they make up to $150,000. It also includes $1,400 payments for dependents including children over age 18 who are disabled or in college.
“There is simply no question that millions of illegal immigrants will receive billions of dollars in COVID relief checks,” Camarota said. “This highlights an even more disturbing fact – illegal immigrants are being issued Social Security numbers in large numbers. This is a clear indication that America is simply not serious about enforcing its immigration laws.”
Among those eligible to receive $1,400 checks are 653,000 illegal immigrants categorized as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and 411,000 with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who have received authorization to work in the U.S, CIS notes. Their work permit comes with a valid Social Security number and they would therefore be able to apply for and receive stimulus checks.
“The bottom line is that unless the IRS suddenly creates a new rule barring illegal immigrants from receiving payments and a procedure to implement such a policy, immigrants with valid Social Security numbers, a significant number of them in the U.S. illegally, will receive stimulus checks,” Camarota said.