Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is urging illegal aliens eligible for a child tax credit passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress in March and signed by President Joe Biden to apply.
The self-described democratic socialist from New York made her remarks at a New York City IRS center during a press conference Thursday, where she detailed how applicants could get help applying online and what they needed to do in order to get the taxpayer-funded payments.
“These centers are also offering help to undocumented folks with eligible children,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“So any child with a Social Security number is eligible. Do not count yourself out because a parent and guardian is undocumented. You just need your individual tax identification number, or your ITIN,” she added.
“So please help us help you, help us help each other, and make sure you access the tools. These checks are supposed to be hitting our bank accounts next week,” the New York lawmaker continued.
The tax credit pays out about $3000 per child beginning July 15 for a year as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief measure passed earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who was also at the press conference Thursday, said Democrats want to extend the benefit beyond the one-year limit.
“Most families don’t have to do anything to get the enhanced payments since the IRS already has their 2020 or 2019 returns showing they claimed the regular child tax credit, which was $2,000 for each child up to age 17. Roughly 39 million households, covering 88% of children, will start receiving the monthly payments automatically,” CNN reported.
But in order to reach others who are eligible for the benefit who didn’t file returns, the IRS is holding outreach events in 12 cities ahead of the July 15 date to get more people to sign up. Those cities are Washington, D.C., Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Los Angeles
The payments begin phasing out the more families earn. Full payments will be made to single parents making up to $75,000 a year and couples earning up to $150,000.
Democrats have touted the benefit as being able to cut child poverty rates in the U.S. in half.
“It does great things for families who have had to struggle with Covid, so many families have had to struggle,” Schumer said “This is going to help.”
“These payments represent the largest anti-poverty program in a generation!” Ocasio-Cortez added at the briefing, which was also attended by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
CNN reported that overall, the tax credit payment program is slated to cost about $110 billion.
“One of our goals in the upcoming Build Back Better plan is to extend this way beyond December 31. Many of us would like to make this permanent, but we’re going to extend it. It will be extended for sure, for a very a significant amount of time, and we will see if we will get the permanence we are fighting for,” Schumer said during the press conference. “So this is very, very important for everybody.”
In May, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that people in the country illegally “pay taxes” so they should be eligible for such benefits.
“Undocumented people pay taxes. So these folks, the folks that are working the farms to feed us, the people that are delivering our groceries and driving us from one place to another or doing our laundry and cleaning our clothes and our homes—these people pay taxes,” she said.
“They pay for the very recovery funds that they are being cut out of on city, state, or federal levels, and so we have to make sure they get their fair share and that they are included,” she added.
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