Illegal Aliens Collecting Child Care Credit

15 May

I need some help with this one.

Apparently, it has recently come to light that our tax system is sending $4 billion a year to illegal aliens who file tax returns (they don’t need a SSAN to do this, just an ITIN) and claim the “Child Tax Credit” on their returns.  This arises out of the “omission” that was made way back when this refundable credit was implemented (“refundable” meaning that even if you owe no taxes, the tax system pays you some amount).  This “credit” (“money for nothin’ “, as the song goes) is apparently being used to a greater and greater extent by illegal aliens, as more people find out about it, and as it has risen to as high as $1000 per child (I think there’s a cap on the number of children you can claim for this credit).  And there is evidence that children are being claimed who don’t even live in the U.S.!

Anyway, the Republicans are now saying, “Let’s close this loop-hole, this largesse to those who are not even here legally.  We can’t afford this!”  The Democrats are, once again, crying, “Oh, you hard-hearted Republicans.  Don’t you realize that children are hurt if we shut off these payments to illegals?  And don’t you realize that some of these children are actually American citizens by birth right?”

Now — Here’s the way I see it, and you need to tell me where I’m really off base.

The families are here illegally.  By all rights, the parents should take the family home to Mexico, or wherever, and if they want to come to the U.S. to work and live, they can get in line — legally. 

But, in addition, consider the point of hurting children.  These people have presumably come to the U.S. illegally because they think they can provide for their families better in the U.S. that they can in, say, Mexico.  [And, in a way, we should be proud of this.]  However, by using the same logic in reverse, when an illegal alien (or a legal alien, for that matter) finds, for whatever reason, that they no longer can make a better living in the U.S. than in his/her home country, he/she/they should go back home and take advantage of not only being back home, but of the opportunities there.  

We citizen taxpayers should feel no obligation to ensure that immigrants, legal or illegal, have a better economic standing in the U.S. than in their own home country.  If they can do as well at home, they should go back home.  What is simpler?

So some of the kids are U.S. citizens by birthright?  To me, that doesn’t change the situation.  Family is family.  The heads of each family have to decide where the best opportunity lies for the family.  Bearing a child in the U.S. does not entitle other members of the family (legal or illegal) to citizenship.

Why is this so difficult?  Add to this the fact that we simply can’t afford this largesse any more, and it seems like a no-brainer to me — cut off the $4 billion.

Can someone please help me see “the other side” more clearly?

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