2017/11/16 - CITIES TO CONGRESS: DON'T INCREASE CHILD POVERTY FOR THE SAKE OF TAX CUTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2017
CONTACT: press@citiesforaction.us

Coalition of 175+ Mayors and County Executives Issues Letters to House and Senate Leaders 

Cities for Action, a coalition of over 175 mayors and county executives that advocates for welcoming and inclusive policies for immigrant residents, issued a letter today to the U.S. House of Representatives and to the Senate Committee on Finance urging opposition to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill would increase child poverty for millions of children and tax-paying families, including many U.S. citizen and immigrant children. Cities for Action strongly opposes this bill, and urges all Members of Congress to reject the bill, which trades the well-being of children for tax cuts. 

Click here for the full letter to House leaders

Click here for the full letter to Senate leaders

Below is the full text of the letter from Cities for Action:

 

Dear Members of Congress,

Cities for Action (C4A) is a coalition of over 175 mayors and municipal leaders that advocates for welcoming and inclusive policies for immigrant residents. We are committed to protecting the well-being of all of our residents, including immigrant children and families. For that reason we are writing to you today to urge that you oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Both the House of Representatives and Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act threaten to strip Child Tax Credit (CTC) eligibility from tax-paying immigrant and mixed-status families. That would greatly harm many of the 9 million people that live in mixed-status families.

By restricting the CTC for children without Social Security Numbers, the bill would directly harm some of the most vulnerable families in the United States. The CTC is a crucial anti-poverty initiative, which lifted about 2.7 million people out of poverty in 2016, including 1.5 million children, and lessened poverty for over 12 million more, including over 6 million children.[1]

Excluding an undocumented child in a mixed-status family also harms the U.S. citizen members of that family. There are 9 million people in mixed-status families, including undocumented children, and around 400,000 of those undocumented children have U.S. citizen siblings.[2] The CTC helps working families pay for the essentials of child care – so a cut for one child affects the whole family.

Restricting access to the CTC will increase child poverty for millions of children and families, and hurt the cities and counties that would otherwise benefit from those families’ increased spending power. This is unacceptable. As local leaders, we know that our cities and counties are stronger when all residents, including tax-paying immigrant and mixed-status families, are given the opportunity to thrive. This change does the opposite: it increases poverty for U.S. citizen and immigrant children in our communities.

We urge you to oppose this effort to trade the well-being of children for tax cuts.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,

Cities for Action 



[1] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Policy Basics: The Child Tax Credit,” October 2017, https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/policy-basics-the-child-tax-credit

[2] Paul Taylor, Mark Hugo Lopez, Jeffrey S. Passel, and Seth Mothel, “Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood,” December 2011, http://www.pewhispanic.org/2011/12/01/unauthorized-immigrants-length-of-residency-patterns-of-parenthood/