Tag Archives: Taxes

Immigrant women excluded from birth control policy, immigrant families at risk of losing child tax credit, 2/7-2/14

14 Feb

Bishops Reject White House’s New Plan on Contraception, New York Times, 2-11-12
Republicans Target Child Tax Break For Illegal Immigrants, Fox News, 2-9-12

This week, after ongoing pressure from women’s health advocates, the Obama administration made some final “tweaks” to a policy to ensure that employees of religiously-affiliated organizations will have access to birth control without co-pays.  While critical, this is not a victory for all women in the US.  Due to their legal status, immigrant women who are not citizens will have limited access to the women’s health services provided under the Affordable Care Act, leaving them at risk for unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer.
Call Congress today!  The Earned Income Tax Credit at risk…
As the debate over women’s health played out loudly and publicly, another battle has been quietly progressing.  House Republicans have proposed to pay for the extension of the payroll tax break by ending the child tax credit for parents who file taxes without a Social Security number.  This credit provides an average of $1,800 per year per family and goes to households with 4 million children.  If made law, millions of dollars in tax credits would be denied to low-income families.
Our nation’s immigration policies create a class of residents who are not only denied many rights, but who are vulnerable to our ongoing political and culture wars, such as the public fight over access to birth control and the behind-closed-doors negotiations over the child tax credit.
The last couple of weeks have shown that grass-roots efforts, whether on-line petitions or Facebook organizing, can have a successful impact on policy and societal attitudes. Therefore, it is critical to take action to ensure that immigrants benefit from our health and social policies and programs.  Here are some suggestions of what you can do:

  • Join advocates who have been organizing against the threat to the child tax credit with the National Call in Day.  Call Senators Harry Reid (202-224-3542) and Max Baucus (202-224-2651) TODAY!
  • Support groups, such as the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, who recognize that immigration reform is “a matter of reproductive justice.”
  • Support effective programs that serve immigrants, such as California’s Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment which has demonstrated their success in preventing unplanned pregnancies and, yes, saving tax pay dollars.    

In other news:
Court ruling could prompt more deportation reviews, AP, 2-11-12
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to delay the deportation of seven undocumented immigrants until their cases are reviewed, as specified by the Obama administration in August 2011.  The ruling will likely result in pressure for the administration to review cases and provide an opening for other immigrants to seek reviews.
For battered immigrant women, fear of deportation becomes abusers’ weapon, The Washington Post, 2-8-12
Fear of being deported often keeps undocumented victims of domestic abuse silent, but they have rights under the law, including to a special visa that is set aside for crime victims.

Fear of Deportation Kept L.A. School’s Parents From Reporting Sex Abuse, Colorlines, 2-10-12

In the aftermath of a recent revelation that two teachers have been engaged in ongoing sexual abuse of students, many parents at Miramonte Elementary School, in unincorporated Los Angeles County, are afraid to cooperate with the police because of possible negative consequences related to their immigration status. Angelica Salas, executive director of the Human Rights Coalition of Los Angeles stated: “Many of the parents with information about the case are afraid there may be negative consequences (deportation). Unfortunately, their fear is not unfounded, we have seen how people have been arrested and deported for selling ice cream on the streets.”

CA Court’s Prop. 8 Ruling Does Not Benefit Undocumented, New America Media, 2-8-12

New America Media reporter Zaineb Mohammed speaks with Elizabeth Gill, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and AIDS project regarding the limitations of the Proposition 8 ruling, released this week, for same-sex immigrants.

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Undocumented workers pay billions in Social Security taxes, 12.25.11-1.2.12

4 Jan
A common myth is that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes. But, a recent article in The Seattle Times shows that each year billions of dollars are deducted from undocumented workers’ pay checks, and this money goes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicare. The funds go into what is called an Earning Suspense File, established to collect money from filers whose names do not match social security numbers. In 2009, the last year for which figures were available, there were $72.8 billion in wages from 7.7 million workers whose names did not match the social security numbers. Of this, approximately $9 billion went to the SSA system and an additional $2.1 billion went to Medicare. In addition, they also pay sales tax, income taxes and rent, which landlords use to pay property taxes. Instead of seeing the benefits from these billions, undocumented workers face accusations that they do not pay taxes.
This inaccurate – and discriminatory- accusation is just another example of how U.S. policies and society exploit and scapegoat our undocumented workers. Less obvious are the health repercussions of these false assumptions. For instance, many undocumented workers will not be able to claim the benefits to which they contribute, such as Medicare or Social Security pensions. The “immigrants-do-not-pay-taxes” myth also stigmatizes workers and encourages flawed policies, such as E-verify, that further marginalize undocumented workers. Anti-immigrant systems and policies exploit immigrant workers, when what our society needs to do is recognize the contributions of our workers and treat them fairly. One way to start is by exposing these discriminatory myths.
In Other News
Calif. bans car tow practice that hit illegal immigrants, USA Today, 12.27.11
On Sunday, a new law took effect that prohibits police from impounding cars at checkpoints if the only offense is not having a license. Immigrant advocates have long critiqued checkpoints as unjustly targeting undocumented immigrants while towing companies gain huge profits from impounding fees.
As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy, Pew Hispanic Research Center, 12.28.11
The report finds that “By a ratio of more than two-to-one (59% versus 27%), Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants.”
Immigration laws pose a test of states’ rights in Supreme Court, LA Times, 12.28.11
While federal judges have blocked anti-immigrant laws introduce by conservatives in half a dozen states like South Carolina and Arizona,  the Supreme Court’s conservative majority may shift against immigrant rights advocates.

E-verify sections of Alabama and Georgia’s anti-immigration law now in effect, 1.2.12
Employers in Alabama and Georgia are now required to use the E-verify system, which mandates employers to sign a document confirming that “they’ve e-verified their employees….[and] are complying with federal law.”