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GOP Tax Bills Would Preserve Billions In Cash Transfers To Illegal Immigrants

Article author: 
Amalia Halikias
Article publisher: 
The Federalist
Article date: 
December 7, 2017
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

For years, the Internal Revenue Service has been paying billions of dollars to illegal aliens, in effect bribing them to come to the United States to claim cash benefits. In 2010 alone, the government agency paid individuals not authorized to work here (i.e., illegal aliens) $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits.

Tax reform gave Republicans a chance to stop this. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, House and Senate Republicans recently produced bills that would entrench current law: financially rewarding foreign citizens who come to the United States illegally and have children to help them remain here.

How Is This Even Possible?

The IRS makes payments to low-income workers who pay little to no federal income tax but still qualify for “refundable” tax credits. These refundable credits function as tax subsidies, regardless of how much the recipient is taxed. In other words, it’s possible to pay nothing in taxes and get money from U.S. taxpayers.

Two of the most prominent refundable tax credits are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Under current law, only workers with Social Security numbers valid for employment can collect the EITC—a restriction that bars illegal aliens from accessing the program. But, for some reason, the refundable Child Tax Credit is available to individuals not authorized to work in this country, simply for having children here. As a result, U.S. taxpayers pay billions each year to illegal aliens.

In the past, Congress tried to prevent this from happening. In the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Congress provided that federal public benefits—i.e., welfare—would not be paid to illegal aliens...