Archive for ‘Illegal immigration’

November 22, 2014


Immigration reform: Who qualifies and who doesn’t?

November 22, 2014

Latest News: Immigration Plan, Buffalo Snow Ends, ‘Hunger Games’ Opens

Latest News: Immigration Plan, Buffalo Snow Ends, ‘Hunger Games’ Opens

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Immigration Points

The audience at the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas watched President Obama announce his immigration order. Credit Chris Pizzello/Invision, via AP

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Obama moves ahead.

The president heads to Las Vegas today, where he will give more details on his immigration plan this afternoon.

Nevada has the nation’s highest proportion of undocumented immigrants, at 7.6 percent of its population.

Mr. Obama told Americans on Thursday that deporting millions is “not who we are” and announced executive actions to grant reprieves to as many as five million undocumented immigrants.

• Republican rebuttal.

“With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms,” House Speaker John A. Boehner replied today.

And House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit today against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law.

• Biden in Ukraine.

In Kiev today, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. condemned Russia’s behavior as “unacceptable” and urged Moscow to abide by a September peace deal.

Almost 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since the truce with Russian-backed separatists went into effect, the U.N. says.

• Racing toward a deadline.

Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Vienna for Paris today after talks on a nuclear deal with Iran.

Even if agreement is reached before Monday’s deadline, the final decision in Iran will be made by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

• Straining nerves and roofs.

Little or no snow is expected in the Buffalo region today after seven feet of snow fell in three days.

But flooding is a new fear: The forecast calls for a chance of rain on Saturday and more on Monday with temperatures nearing 60 degrees.

• Anti-E.U. party makes gains.

The right-wing U.K. Independence Party won its second seat in the British Parliament today with a victory in a special election.


• Wall Street stocks are rising strongly today on top of records set Thursday. Europe stocks are up about 2 percent, and Asian indexes closed with gains.

• China made a surprise cut in its benchmark interest rate today, the first in more than two years, to 5.6 percent to lift its cooling economy.

And Europe’s top central banker signaled today he was preparing a new round of stimulus to help its flagging growth.

• On the eve of today’s hearing by a Senate panel on bank regulation, the Fed unexpectedly announced that it would review crucial aspects of its bank supervision.

• Nintendo today starts selling its Super Smash Bros. video game, which had record advance orders, for its Wii U console.

Also new today are “amiibos,” figurines of characters like Mario, Link and Yoshi that connect wirelessly to the consoles.


• On the silver screen.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” which comes out today, is expected to score the biggest box-office opening weekend of the year.

Our critic, Manohla Dargis, calls it “streamlined, blunt and easy.”

Here’s what else is coming to theaters today.

• A home for Nazi-era art?

Directors of a small Swiss museum this weekend are likely to accept a bequest of 1,000 artworks collected by a Nazi-era art dealer and kept private for decades by his son.

And a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, “Jimson Weed (White Flower No. 1)” from 1932, sold at Sotheby’s on Thursday for $44.4 million, an auction record for a work by a female artist.

• Finally, football team wins.

The Oakland Raiders earned their first victory in more than a year with a late scoring drive to stun the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 24-20, on Thursday night.

And the N.F.L. decided to relocate the Bills-Jets game, scheduled for Sunday in snow-plagued Buffalo, to Detroit’s Ford Field on Monday night.

• Cosby’s show goes on.

The comedian Bill Cosby is still set to perform tonight at a sold-out show at the Melbourne, Fla., performing arts center, despite the cancellation of some of his projects over sexual assault allegations.

• Earth spins closer to heat record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last month was the hottest October on record worldwide.

It makes it likely that 2014 will go down as our planet’s warmest year on record.


The season of feasting is upon us. We may have to watch our waistlines, but for our pets, too much can be deadly.

Give in to those pleading eyes with a chunk of fatty turkey skin, and your dog or cat could end up with pancreatitis. Onion and garlic can give them anemia.

Chocolate-covered coffee beans snarfed off the floor are double trouble. Caffeine is poisonous to pets, as are the caffeine-like methylxanthines in chocolate.

Bread dough is especially dangerous, says Dr. Karyn L. Bischoff, a veterinarian and toxicologist.

Your dog’s stomach is a perfect medium for yeast, and the ethanol that yeast gives off can make your dog drunk and ill, she says. And the expanding dough could cut off its blood supply.

The same would probably be true for a cat. But Dr. Bischoff says she doesn’t know of any such cases.

“Dogs are just eat first, ask questions later,” she says. “Cats are a little smarter. They think these things through.”

The A.S.P.C.A. has a full list of people foods to keep away from paws and jaws.

Andrea Kannapell contributed reporting.

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November 22, 2014

Obama to spare 5M from deportation

Obama to spare 5M from deportation

August 3, 2012

DHS Outlines Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

DHS Outlines Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

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USCIS to begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action on August 15, 2012

released Aug. 3, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security today provided additional information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process during a national media call in preparation for the August 15 implementation date.

On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain young people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is finalizing a process by which potentially eligible individuals may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

USCIS expects to make all forms, instructions, and additional information relevant to the deferred action for childhood arrivals process available on August 15, 2012. USCIS will then immediately begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

Information shared during today’s call includes the following highlights:

  • Requestors – those in removal proceedings, those with final orders, and those who have never been in removal proceedings – will be able to affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals with USCIS.
  • Requestors will use a form developed for this specific purpose.
  • Requestors will mail their deferred action request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox.
  • All requestors must provide biometrics and undergo background checks.
  • Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.
  • The four USCIS Service Centers will review requests.

Additional information regarding the Secretary’s June 15 announcement will be made available on on August 15, 2012. It is important to note that this process is not yet in effect and individuals who believe they meet the guidelines of this new process should not request consideration of deferred action before August 15, 2012. Requests submitted before August 15, 2012 will be rejected. Individuals who believe they are eligible should be aware of immigration scams. Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of you by charging a fee to submit forms to USCIS on your behalf. Visit for tips on filing forms, reporting scams and finding accredited legal services. Remember, the Wrong Help Can Hurt! An informational brochure and flyer are also available on

For more information on USCIS and its processes, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Last updated:08/03/2012

August 3, 2012

Illegal Immigrants Should Not Receive Child Tax Credit Payouts

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By and
August 3, 2012

Included in the House of Representatives–passed budget reconciliation bill earlier this year was a provision that would halt payments to illegal immigrants through the refundable portion of the child tax credit.[1] This is a sensible reform.

Refundable Child Tax Credit Provides Cash Payments to Those Who Pay No Income Tax

The refundable child tax credit (also called the additional child tax credit) provides cash payments to low-income parents who pay no federal income tax. The refundable child credit is a means-tested welfare program that is similar to the more widely known earned-income tax credit (EITC).

The refundable credit is provided to families with children. The amount of the credit is capped at 15 percent of each additional dollar of earned income above $3,000. Thus, a family with $13,000 in earned income would receive $1,500 in cash aid from the program. The maximum value of the cash aid is $1,000 per child in the family.

The refundable credit provides added cash benefits to many families receiving the EITC. For example, a family earning $16,000 per year with two children would receive more than $7,000 in combined cash payments from the refundable child credit and the EITC. These refundable payments, even though the IRS administers them through the tax code, are rightfully considered (for budgetary purposes) means-tested welfare outlays rather than reduced tax revenue.

The income tax code also provides a non-refundable child credit worth $1,000 per child for married couples with incomes below specified income levels ($110,000 for married couples and $75,000 for single parents). This credit is used to reduce the amount of income tax a family owes. In the middle-income range, the value of the refundable child credit is phased down and gradually replaced by the non-refundable child credit, which is used to reduce income tax liability.

The combined value of the refundable and non-refundable credits cannot exceed $1,000 per child.[2] For example, a family with two children would be eligible for two $1,000 credits. If the family owed $1,700 in income tax before credits, it would receive $1,700 in non-refundable credits (reducing its tax liability to zero) plus $300 in refundable cash payments.

Illegal Immigrants Currently Able to Claim Child Tax Credit Refundable Payments

The reformed child tax credit in the House reconciliation bill responds to mounting evidence that illegal immigrants are claiming refundable payments through the credit. They can claim these payments because the current law authorizing the child tax credit does not require tax filers to include their Social Security numbers on their tax returns to prove that they are legal U.S. citizens or are authorized to work in the U.S. to qualify for the credit or its refundable portion.

The Social Security Administration issues Social Security numbers only to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible foreign nationals. Individuals who are not citizens can get Social Security numbers only if the Department of Homeland Security authorizes them to work in the U.S.

People who are not eligible for Social Security numbers earn income in the United States and therefore need to file tax returns with the IRS. This group includes foreign investors and individuals working without authorization in the U.S.—i.e., illegal immigrants.[3]

To allow these individuals to file their returns, the IRS issues them an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs are only for individuals who are required to have a taxpayer identification number for tax purposes but are not eligible for a Social Security number because they are not authorized to work in the U.S. The IRS issues ITINs regardless of immigration status.[4]

ITINs are necessary because foreign investors with U.S. holdings must pay U.S. taxes. These foreign investors are not the focus of the problem with the child tax credit. Investors who legitimately use their ITINs to file their taxes are unlikely to claim the credit.

The extensive and rapidly growing problem is that illegal immigrants who reside in the U.S. are able to acquire ITINs from the IRS and then use those identifiers to file tax returns on which they claim the child tax credit and its refundable payment. A study from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reports that the number of ITIN filers claiming refundable payments nearly doubled between 2005 and 2008 from 796,000 to 1,526,276.[5] The growth in ITIN filers claiming the credit tracks closely with changes in the credit that increased both the number of tax filers that can claim the refundable payments and the size of those payments.

House Bill Adds Social Security Number Requirement for Refundable Portion of Credit

The House reconciliation bill would stop illegal immigrants from claiming the refundable portion of the child tax credit by requiring tax filers to include their Social Security numbers on their tax returns. Their ITINs would no longer be sufficient identification to qualify. The EITC, a credit similar to the child tax credit, already has such a requirement.[6]

The House bill does not apply the Social Security number requirement to the children claimed under the credit. Illegal immigrants could continue to use the child tax credit to offset their income tax liability if they continue to file tax returns.

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that if Congress added the Social Security number requirement and thereby stopped child tax credit payments to illegal immigrants, the federal government would spend $7.6 billion less over 10 years.[7]

The JCT estimate vastly understates the savings because it assumes that in 2013, the child tax credit will return to its status prior to the Bush tax cuts, when the credit’s value was half what it is currently and its refundability was much less generous. If JCT took the more sensible approach that Congress is likely to extend the child tax credit’s current value and refundability parameters, the estimated savings would be far higher.

Sensible Reform

The House bill’s requirement that tax filers have a Social Security number to receive a payment through the child tax credit is a sensible and long-overdue reform. Illegal immigrants are in the U.S. wrongfully and are not authorized to work here. The government should not reward illegal immigration by providing illegal immigrants with cash welfare aid through the refundable child credit. The purpose of the refundable child tax credit is to help low-income working families that are legal citizens or authorized to work in the U.S.

Curtis S. Dubay is a Senior Analyst in Tax Policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Robert Rector is Senior Research Fellow in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation.

Show references in this report below:

[1]Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director, Congressional Budget Office, letter to the Honorable David Dreier, May 9, 2012, (accessed May 24, 2012).

[2]Next year, if Taxmageddon strikes, the credit will fall to $500 per eligible child. See Curtis S. Dubay, “Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013,” Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 3558, April 4, 2012,

[3]U.S. Department of the Treasury, Inspector General for Tax Administration, “Recovery Act: Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits,” July 7, 2011, p. 1, (accessed May 29, 2012).


[5]Ibid., p. 4.

[6]Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, “26 USC § 32—Earned Income,” (accessed August 3, 2012).

[7]U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation, Description of the Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Social Security Number Requirements for the Refundable Portion of the Child Tax Credit, April 17, 2012, (accessed May 17, 2012).

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