By Bob Katzen
The new bill provides a stimulus check to taxpayers who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number. The state-funded stimulus check would be equal to the stimulus checks of $1,200 for individual filers, $2,400 for joint filers and $500 per child that is currently provided by the federal government through the CARES Act. It will also provide $10 million to immigrant aid organizations.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, taxpayers who file their tax return with an ITIN include “undocumented immigrants and their dependents as well as some people who are lawfully present in the U.S., such as certain survivors of domestic violence, Cuban and Haitian entrants, student visa holders and certain spouses and children of individuals with employment visas.”
“Immigrants play a crucial role in Massachusetts’s economy, and we need to ensure that undocumented immigrants and their families receive the same financial support as other taxpayers have through the federal CARES Act,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “At a time of a pandemic, more than ever, we need to take serious action and provide financial help to all vulnerable populations. While the federal government did not provide direct financial relief to tens of thousands of Massachusetts immigrant families, the Legislature, reflecting Massachusetts values, can.”
“If this public health crisis has made one thing clear, it’s that we are all in this together,” said co-sponsor Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton). “All residents of Massachusetts need the same protection from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Immigrants, regardless of status, who have been working and paying taxes should receive the same stimulus check that everyone else in the community receives.”