US citizen spouses and children of undocumented immigrants will finally get stimulus checks!
On Sunday, December 27, 2020, President Trump signed a new $900 billion stimulus bill into law, alongside a government spending package that Congress passed on December 21, 2020.
The bill fixes a few issues that restricted payment of the first wave of stimulus checks from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) earlier this year. The new bill allows stimulus checks to “mixed-status” families.
According to lawmakers and the text of the legislation, if at least one family member filed a 2019 tax return with a Social Security Number (SSN), then that household will be eligible to receive a stimulus check. This means that families who meet the above conditions will be able to receive a new stimulus check even if they filed a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse. If the household also has dependents, they will also be eligible to receive additional check per dependent. An estimated 16.7 million people live in mixed-status households nationwide, including 8.2 million US-born or naturalized citizens.
The new package also provides retroactive relief to mixed-status families with one Social Security Number-holder who did not receive payment under the CARES Act. These families will now be eligible to receive a $1,200 check per household and $500 per dependent check.
The new bill also extends various immigration programs that were previously set to expire including EB-5 Regional Center Program, and more. Further, it grants the Department of Homeland Security authority to issue additional H-2B visas beyond the statutory limit of 66,000. As in years past, DHS will likely have to issue a new regulation to authorize the additional visas.
We are delighted to see that this bill provides some support to some of our immigrant workers and their families during these unprecedented times. But, of course there are a lot of fully undocumented families that will still not be eligible for stimulus checks.