Skip to Content

Letter to U.S. Senators on Eligibility for the Child Tax Credit

Dear Senator:

We are writing to strongly urge you to oppose any proposals to pay for the cost of extending
Unemployment Insurance (UI) coverage by changing the eligibility requirements for the Child
Tax Credit (CTC). The laudable goal of extending UI benefits is to help keep Americans looking
for work in this difficult labor market from being driven off the economic cliff. But restricting
CTC eligibility would directly negate that goal by driving millions of low-income families and
children into poverty.

These counterproductive amendments would require taxpayers to have a Social Security
number in order to claim the refundable portion of the CTC. In doing so, they would
disqualify more than two million low-wage working families - who pay income and payroll taxes
- from claiming this credit. They also would impact over four million U.S. citizen children, the
vast majority of whom are Latino.

The CTC is only available to working families, and was designed to enable them to pay for their
children’s most basic needs – food, clothing, medicine and other daily expenses. More than 60%
of families using the refundable portion of this tax credit earn less than $25,000 per year.
Because of the crucial economic support it provides, the CTC has proven to be one of the most
effective anti-poverty measures.

Supporters of this drastic change in tax policy point to isolated incidents of fraud in the program.
Integrity in any system is important, but punishing children and their tax-paying families is not
the answer to weeding out allegations of fraud.

Without the CTC, low-income families will have to pay an average of $1,800 more per year in
taxes. These are families who pay more than $13 billion in payroll taxes each year and face a
daily struggle to make ends meet. More than 16 million children currently live in poverty in this
country - an unconscionable number - and CTC eligibility restrictions would push countless
more children into that position.

Raising taxes on low-income families is a cynical and counterproductive proposal to pay for the
costs of extending UI coverage. America is better than that. We therefore strenuously urge you to
oppose CTC restrictions and thank you for your continuing leadership in protecting children and
hard-working immigrant families.

Sincerely,

9to5
AFL-CIO Alliance for a Just Society
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
American Friends Service Committee
American Immigration Council
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
America's Voice
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
CADENA
California Immigrant Policy Center
Campaign for America's Future
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
CASA de Maryland
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Center for Community Change
Center for Economic Progress
Center for Law and Social Policy
Children's Defense Fund
Children's Health Fund
Children's Leadership Council
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Church World Service
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Coalition on Human Needs
Community Action Partnership
Empire Justice Center
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)
Farmworker Justice
First Focus Campaign for Children
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
Half in Ten
Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project of North Carolina
Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA)
Latin American Coalition
LatinoJustice
PRLDEF
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service
Main Street Alliance
Make the Road New York
Massachusetts Peace Action
MomsRising
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Community Tax Coalition
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Immigration Forum
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, NAKASEC
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Women’s Law Center
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
One America
RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
Single Stop USA
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Student Action with Farmworkers
The Arc
UFCW International Union
UNITE HERE International Union
United Autoworkers (UAW)
United Students Against Sweatshops
United We Dream
USAction
We Belong Together