By Mónica Ramírez and Olivia Golden
This spring, Congress denied the tax-paying families of an estimated 3.5 million children economic help under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. That’s right: families who have contributed billions in taxes, families with U.S. citizen children, were cut off from bare-bones financial assistance simply because one or both parents has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
As many in our nation are grappling with the mistakes of the past, and trying to build a future free of systemic barriers for people of color, we need Congress to do its part. This means the Senate must pass COVID-19 relief legislation along the lines of the HEROES Act, and treat mixed-status immigrant families like any other American family. That would be a clear sign of progress.
Mónica Ramírez is the president of Justice for Migrant Women and Olivia Golden is executive director of The Center for Law and Social Policy. They are part of the Children Thrive Action Network, along with UnidosUS, Children’s Defense Fund-TX, HANA Center, MomsRising, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association, The Children’s Partnership and others.