Illegal aliens Would Get $10.5 Billion From Reconciliation Bill

Article author: 
Steven Camarota
Article publisher: 
Real Clear Politics
Article date: 
15 November 2021
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The budget reconciliation package pushed by Democrats creates a new expanded child tax credit (CTC) that would pay illegal immigrants [illegal aliens] some $10.5 billion next year. All immigrants [and illegal aliens] with children are eligible, regardless of how they got here and whether their children are U.S.-born. This includes the roughly 600,000 unaccompanied minors and persons in family units stopped at the border in FY2021 and released into the country pending a hearing. Cash welfare to illegal immigrants is not just costly; it also encourages more illegal immigration. 

Although it is referred to as a “refundable credit,” the new CTC, like the old additional child tax credit (ACTC) it replaces, pays cash to low-income families who do not pay any federal income tax. The new program significantly increases the maximum cash payment from $1,400 per child to $3,600 for children under 6, and to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. After 2022, the maximum payment would be $2,000 per child, but advocates hope the much larger payments will be extended. 

In an analysis conducted in October, my colleague Karen Zeigler and I estimated that illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children would receive $8.2 billion from the new CTC. However, we had assumed that the new program, like the old ACTC, would require children claimed as dependents to have Social Security numbers (SSNs).  But reconciliation (page 1452, line 14) would permanently repeal this requirement. 

Illegal immigrants are able to receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens...

If the reconciliation bill is passed, we now estimate illegal immigrants whose children are also illegally in the country will receive $2.3 billion from the new CTC, for a total of $10.5 billion in cash payments to illegal immigrant parents....

The list of things we have failed to do to enforce our immigration laws is so long that it can’t even be summarized here. But if we want to understand why a record 1.7 million people were apprehended at the border in FY 2021, we need to look no further than the large cash payments the House plans to give illegal immigrants.

Steven Camarota is director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C.