Congress: Don’t Leave ANY Working Families Behind


November 23, 2015

There’s been a lot of terrible anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiments from some pretty high-up sources lately – governors, members of Congress, even Presidential candidates. There’s been harmful anti-refugee legislation – like the House bill to stall and disrupt refugee screening for resettlement in the U.S., and anti-immigration legislation, like a bill to defund sanctuary cities that thankfully failed in the Senate in October. In addition to passing stand-alone legislation, it seems certain elected officials want to add provisions that would hurt refugees and/or immigrants to every piece of legislation they can – including a must-pass spending package to keep the government open, a bill funding the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and now even legislation dealing with corporate tax breaks and tax credits for low-income working families.

Hopefully you saw our action alert last week about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). If you didn’t, don’t worry, it’s not too late to take action! There are also sample tweets at the end of this post you can use. In short, Congress will soon be taking up legislation to extend more than 50 tax breaks, mostly for corporations, at a cost of billions of dollars. However, key provisions of these tax credits for low-income working families will expire in two years without action, hurting more than 50 million people, including 25 million children. Of those, more than 16 million people, including 8 million children, will be pushed into or deeper into poverty. A single mother with two children working full time at the federal minimum wage would lose her entire Child Tax Credit – over $1,700.

And while failing to make these key provisions permanent – in effect, putting corporations ahead of low-income families – would be horrible enough, it gets worse. Some members of Congress want to change eligibility requirements for the EITC and CTC in such a way that would hurt immigrant children and their families. For example, some are suggesting that the EITC should be denied to “Dreamers” who were granted relief from deportation under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. Not only is this an attack on low-wage workers, it’s one more attack on immigrants.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are effective anti-poverty, pro-work and pro-growth measures that help families and some individuals at every stage of life. Congress needs to make key provisions to these credits permanent and also increase the very small Earned Income Tax Credit for workers who aren’t raising children, a proposal with bipartisan support. And they must do so WITHOUT hurting immigrant children and their families.

These anti-refugee and anti-immigration moves aren’t the sentiments our country was founded on. Especially as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, when Native Americans welcomed refugees who arrived on the shores, we should be doing better as a nation.

Sample Tweets:

    • 1 in 4 #milfamilies and #vets use the #EITC & #CTC. #Congress: Don’t let these families down! #Workingfamilycredits
    • The #EITC and #CTC are pro-family, pro-work, and anti-poverty. #Congress needs to support #workingfamilycredits!
    • 21 million moms were boosted by the EITC and CTC. Congress: Don’t let these moms down, support #workingfamilycredits!
    • #Congress: Don’t harm immigrant children & families w/ changes to #EITC & #CTC eligibility. #workingfamiliescredits

Thanksgiving tax credit

Child Tax Credit
Earned Income Tax Credit
tax credit
tax policy