A loophole in the US tax code, whose revision Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) deliberately prevented, resulted in over $4 billion going to illegal immigrants in one year. That number is poised to top $7 billion this year, based on analysis from the office of Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’ office calculated that, based on recent trends, illegal immigrants could receive roughly $7.4 billion through a provision known as the Additional Child Tax Credit. That’s more than quadruple what the payout was four years ago, but the payments have been steadily increasing over the past decade.
Although illegal immigrants cannot receive basic tax credits, they do qualify for the child tax credit, a refundable credit, under current law. Lacking a Social Security number, they are given an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to file returns.
As a refundable credit, an illegal immigrant could end up paying no taxes at all and still receive the credit as a refund. Such refunds have averaged approximately $1,800 in previous years.
Last year, a report by the Inspector General recommended that Congress close the loophole. Senator Sessions co-sponsored a bill this year to bar illegal immigrants from the credit. But that effort was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).