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Dems Vote On Behalf Of Illegal Immigrants In Budget Hearing

Senate Democrats on the budget committee voted unanimously Thursday against an amendment to prevent illegal immigrants from cashing in on tax credits.

The amendment, offered by Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, would require tax filers to provide a valid Social Security number in order to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit. Many illegal immigrants are fraudulently collecting billions in direct payments by claiming that credit, the Inspector General for Tax Administration warned.

The Internal Revenue Service contends it doesn’t have the money or authority to make the changes necessary to address the problem, which could save $7.6 billion taxpayer dollars, Sessions said during the hearing, so Congress needs to fix it. “The American working person has no duty to pay direct cash benefits to people in the country unlawfully.” (RELATED: Obama: US Taxpayers Must Pay For Illegals’ Children) 

Sessions’ amendment also prevents illegal immigrants who might be awarded working status through President Barack Obama’s executive order from receiving the tax credits. All 10 Democrats on the committee voted against the amendment, but it was still adopted.

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, the ranking member on the committee, said he would vote against the amendment because those sort of concerns should be addressed through comprehensive immigration reform, not piece by piece. In 2012, illegal workers paid $12 billion into Social Security, and are responsible for 10 percent of the $2.8 trillion trust fund for Social Security.

“These immigrants work and pay into Social Security, but they can’t collect benefits,” he said.

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow echoed his remarks and added that she doesn’t believe illegal immigrants are receiving government benefits. “Anyone who is not here legally cannot receive today the Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security, food stamps, what would traditionally be called welfare programs, housing vouchers, the Affordable are Act, Medicare, Pell Grants and disability.”

A 2011 TIGTA report states otherwise: “The payment of Federal funds through this tax benefit appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts Federal law and policy to remove such incentives.”

In addition to Sanders and Stabenow, Sens. Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Mark Warner, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine and Angus King voted against the amendment.

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