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GOP targets child tax break for illegal immigrants


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250076Washington Examiner:

Republicans are looking to deny child tax credits to illegal immigrants - refund checks averaging $1,800 - in an effort that has roused anger among Hispanics and some Democratic lawmakers.

The proposal, which would require people who claim the federal credit to have Social Security numbers to prove they're legal workers, is being offered as a way to help pay for extending the Social Security tax cut for most American wage-earners. It would trim federal spending by about $10 billion over a decade.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada says the proposal unfairly goes after the children of poor Hispanic workers. Such kids often are U.S. citizens, even when their parents aren't, because they were born in this country.

Says Leticia Miranda, senior policy adviser of the National Council of La Raza: "People who are making close to the minimum wage and are raising children in this country - and we're asking them to pay for the payroll tax cut?" She says, "It's outrageous and it's crazy."

On the other side, Republicans and some Democrats say what's crazy is even having a debate over whether the government should be cutting checks to people who have sneaked into the country illegally. It's hard to imagine there isn't a healthy majority, even in the Democratic-controlled Senate, to stop the practice - if it's actually brought to a vote.

"We have rules about tax credits and benefits, and it seems to me they need to be applied fairly and across the board," said Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is facing a difficult re-election bid in Missouri. "If there are rules, they need to be enforced. I think it's just that simple. I don't think it's complicated."Scissors-32x32.png

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