The economic stimulus package traveling through Congress right now does nothing to stop the IRS from issuing rebate checks to illegal aliens. Please call your Senators now and urge them to take action!
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R.5140, the economic stimulus package, by a vote of 385-35. As many of you have already learned from news outlets, the economic package includes tax rebates of $600 for individual taxpayers and $1,200 for couples. However, this package—thrown together within days—allows the IRS to send tax rebate checks to illegal aliens!
The issue stems from defining who is eligible for a tax rebate. In drafting H.R.5140, Congress left gaping loopholes. Section 101 excludes "nonresident aliens" from being eligible, but this is essentially meaningless as the IRS does not determine whether an individual is a "nonresident alien" based on his or her immigration status. Moreover, it does not address the eligibility of illegal aliens who send in tax returns using stolen or false social security numbers.
At a minimum, the IRS should be required to screen the numbers (whether individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) or social security numbers (SSNs)) used to issue the checks to ensure they match the name of the taxpayer in question. If a name and number do not match, the IRS should be prohibited from issuing a tax rebate check. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) has filed an amendment to affect this change, but we do not know whether he will even be allowed to offer it.
H.R.5140 is now in the Senate and will go through the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon. From there, Senate staffers indicate it will go quickly to the floor. PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW!
We urge all FAIR members, activists and friends to call their Senators now and urge them to fix the loopholes in H.R. 5140 that allow illegal aliens to get tax rebate checks. After calling your own Senators, please call the Senators who sit on the Finance Committee and urge them to take action too.
To find the phone numbers for your Senators, click here.
For the membership of the Senate Finance Committee, click here.