A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives denies child tax credits to migrants who entered the country without legal papers.
Current law allows taxpayers to obtain a taxpayer number from the IRS if they do not have a social security number. Unauthorized migrants often use the number when they file their U.S. tax returns.
The new bill states that only social security numbers can be used in filing tax returns.
Families filing for a refund earn an average of $21,000 a year. They are eligible for a cash refund of $1,800. According to a report, the refund kept 1.3 children out of poverty in 2009.
The Republican sponsor of the bill says using social security numbers will save taxpayers billions and “root out the rampant fraud and abuse of this credit.”
Advocates say it is a good anti-poverty tool that protects children, most of whom are American-born citizens.
The legislation is part of the Jobs Act, which extends the payroll tax cut.