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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Oppose Sessions Amendment #31 to S. 744 To Put Unnecessary Restrictions on Earned Income Tax Credit

Advocacy Letter - 05/17/13

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley


The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Grassley, Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we urge you to oppose Senator Sessions’ amendment #31 to S. 744. This amendment would deny the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to anyone who is not a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

This sweeping and unnecessary amendment would greatly harm many of the very people that S. 744 aims to help. By denying the EITC to any non-citizen who is not a lawful permanent resident, Sessions amendment #31 would eliminate the EITC for people who have obtained Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) or “blue card” status under the underlying bill, penalizing them even though they have taken extensive steps to regularize their status. It would also eliminate it for refugees, asylees, survivors of crime who have cooperated with law enforcement to prosecute the perpetrators, and many other lawfully present immigrants. This is a troubling change to current law, and the need for it is unclear at best. The United States has always treated all individuals who are authorized to work, and have Social Security Numbers, equally for tax purposes. Unauthorized immigrants are already prohibited from receiving the EITC even though they pay federal taxes. This amendment, however, would extend the bar to many lawfully present immigrants.

As a result, for a minimum of ten years, those in RPI status and many other individuals who are lawfully residing in the U.S. would effectively be taxed at much higher rates than other taxpayers with the same family situations and incomes. For the families affected, Sessions amendment #31 would eliminate a vital tool for staying out of poverty, integrating into communities, building financial assets, and getting ahead economically.

For these reasons, we urge you to oppose Sessions amendment #31. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rob Randhava, Senior Counsel, at (202) 466-6058 or randhava@civilrights.org.

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin Executive Vice President

Our Members