The next COVID-19 package must be inclusive of children in immigrant families. As Congress works to pass the next COVID relief package we urge them to ensure that children in immigrant families are not left behind. Specifically:
- The next COVID-19 bill must extend stimulus payments to all mixed-status families and provide retroactive access to stimulus payments from previous bills. While the COVID-19 bill that passed in December 2020 partially fixed the exclusion of some children in mixed-status families from stimulus payments, 2.2 million U.S. citizen and lawfully present children remain without the critical support that stimulus payments provide. Families where parents only file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) must also be included.
- Any effort by Congress or the Administration should explicitly ensure access to COVID treatment, testing, and vaccines for everyone in the United States, regardless of immigration status, and provide guarantees that receiving treatment, testing, and vaccines will in no way impact immigration status through either immigration enforcement or public charge.
- The Child Tax Credit– a critical tool for combating child poverty–should be extended to families that file taxes with an ITIN.
We can and must do right by America’s children. Every child deserves an inclusive society, loving and supported caregivers, a safe and stable home, a high-quality education, nutritious food, and access to health care. Our society is measured by how we treat our children, regardless of where they come from or who their parents are.
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the cracks in society that swallow up many U.S. families. Job and income loss leads to food and housing insecurity. Lack of access to health care separates the “haves” and the “have-nots,” with deadly consequences. These inequities which undermine children’s healthy development existed before the coronavirus. But this public health emergency, which makes clear that our lives and futures are all connected, is amplifying them. When families cannot put food on the table, children go hungry. The idea that we would be adding to children’s instability and pain during this time of national crisis is simply unfathomable. We can and must do better.