WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an expansive tax package that will make permanent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) enacted in 2009. Together, the EITC and CTC help to dramatically reduce poverty levels for Latino families each year. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds lawmakers for their efforts to make sure that hardworking low-income families can get needed tax relief. Alone, these changes would represent a laudable win for the Latino community; however, some lawmakers in Congress were still determined to use this opportunity to target immigrants and included restrictive language in the agreement that NCLR doesn’t support.
“The expansions to the EITC and CTC in 2009 have since helped millions of working families make ends meet. Congress making these expansions permanent now is an important step for our community. We are pleased that lawmakers recognized the proven success of both anti-poverty programs and chose to act,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Investing in measures that reward hard work is the key to building a healthier, more robust workforce that can strengthen our economy.”
The EITC amounts to as much as $6,143 per family, while the CTC can add up to $1,000 per child. Only people who are working are eligible for these programs, which are especially valuable for Latino workers, more than 40 percent of whom earn poverty-level wages.
Congressional action on the EITC and CTC is a result of the hard work and commitment of NCLR Affiliates and partner organizations in the business and progressive communities. Following countless letters, local events, op-eds, and a national poll, lawmakers responded to the advocacy efforts of Latinos across the country, who showed overwhelming support (91 percent) for making improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent without delay.
Unfortunately, some lawmakers cannot pass up an opportunity to attach anti-immigrant language to any measure and did so once again. The agreement will single out immigrant taxpayers specifically and bar millions who receive a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from accessing these vital tax credits in the future. Additionally, it will create potentially significant barriers for immigrants who file taxes using an ITIN.
“The House of Representatives took an important step today and millions of American working families will benefit. We are thankful for that. But Congress has once again singled out immigrant families for restrictions in legislation that has nothing to do with immigration policy. We cannot allow our community to continue to be targeted this way,” Murguía added.
Looking ahead, NCLR is committed to working with Congress and the administration to make sure that these restrictions do not harm children that tax credits do not lose their value due to inflation, and that childless low-wage workers may benefit in the future.
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