Children are now mere political pawn’s to be moved about as chess pieces during legislative battles in Congress over Immigration policy.
A bill introduced by United States Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, who admitted to paying for prostitutes some years ago, has proposed that the children of undocumented immigrants—even when they are United States citizens living in the United States be denied a tax credit on their parent’s income tax returns.
But immigrants who are undocumented do not pay Federal Income Taxes you say? You are wrong. They do and are required to do so by U.S. law.
According to the National Council of La Raza a family with two undocumented parents who work full time and earn $21,240 in income would lose $1,800 per child in income tax credits even if those children are American citizens by birth. Proponents of the bill point to the fact that there may be some children who get the tax credit fraudulently by living outside the United States, or where the family lives in the United States, their low income set just about at the poverty level would give them a tax refund check. That undocumented immigrant families might benefit in any way by living in the United States is intolerable to Republican lawmakers.
The very same United States Constitution that forces undocumented workers to pay Federal Income Taxes also requires that American citizens be given the very same protections of the laws granted to other citizens. What Republicans want is undocumented families to assume full responsibilities as taxpaying citizens without any citizen benefits.
Lost in all this partisan squabbling is that Democrats do not favor this policy or bill and Republicans do. So Struggles for Justice cannot say ”a pox on both your houses” they all do it. That is simply not true. Latino voters should take note of this in the November elections coming in 2012.
And most importantly, children, and the ability of their parents to support them with proper health, food, clothing, and shelter is directly at stake here. Struggles for Justice believes that the welfare of children have a special place in our considerations over policy simply because they are not adults and cannot take care of themselves without parents or guardians. We remember that Jesus of Nazareth bid the children come to him during his ministry as one of the greatest Rabbis of his age and perhaps even the Son of God. There may be some Republicans in the nation who profess Christianity. If not, simple human decency and charity might suffice.
Fox News’ Eric Bohling railed against undocumented families getting any sort of tax breaks and pointed to four billion in payments for their children as a national scandal on his regular Fox News TV Show watched by millions of Republoican conservatives intent on throwing the bad foreign people out.
Just last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut spending for programs President Obama budgeted for in which ICE would shift their focus to deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed criminal violations of the law and who do not have children. The Republican move was contained in eleven amendments to a budget bill that destroys all of Obama’s immigration reform efforts of the past year.
What is so insidious and darkly evil about this move is that immigration enforcement officers will now return to sending some family members to their homeland, while leaving others in the United States. We have not seen this kind of inhumanity since slavery days, when slave-owners sold off a mother or father and one child perhaps, leaving the rest of the family separated and grieving the loss.
Even immigrant families whose breadwinners are undocumented, in point of fact, do pay Federal income taxes as well as state taxes. They also do honest work that needs doing. They routinely obey all U.S. laws save one. And they overwhelmingly believe in Jesus the Christ.
As foreigners, we marvel at the hypocrisy of you Americans. You speak of freedom, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that all of humanity is born free and equal with certain inalieanable human rights endowed by the Creator. Yet you act in ways that are in direct opposition to these principles. The current moves by Republicans in Congress to attack undocumented people are a human rights question of the first order. Struggles for Justice supports the undocumented and argues that their children be protected most of all.