And they will receive what is due them from the CARES Act. Nearly three million Americans and legal immigrants with an undocumented immigrant spouse or parent are eligible for the new fiscal stimulus package passed by Congress last December to address the economic havoc caused by the pandemic.
That was the estimate made Wednesday by researchers at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), who put at 2.9 million the beneficiaries of aid of up to $600 under the new legislation and back payments from the previous package (the CARES Act) of up to $1,200 per person.
Of those 2.9 million people, 1.5 million are U.S. citizen or legal immigrant children living with unauthorized immigrant parents and 1.4 million are citizen or legal immigrant spouses of unauthorized immigrants, they say.
Legislation passed by Congress in December rectified the previous CARES Act, which prevented U.S. citizens and legal immigrants in mixed-status families from being eligible for pandemic payments.
Despite this, they warn, some populations remain uncovered, including 2.2 million U.S. citizen and legal immigrant children whose parents are undocumented.
“Recent expansions of assistance to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants in mixed-status families enjoyed bipartisan support,” noted researchers Julia Gelatt, Randy Capps and Michael Fix.
The experts said that while these contributions will only increase budget lines, they will generate “significant benefits for millions of U.S. citizen children.
Congress approved a new $900 billion economic stimulus plan to address the economic decline due to the pandemic, including additional unemployment assistance and direct payments of $600 to all Americans with an annual income of less than $75,000.
This plan, while much less ambitious than the $2.2 trillion plan approved in March and the largest in the nation’s history, does allow millions of immigrants and immediate family members of undocumented immigrants to receive economic assistance.
MPI estimated that 5.1 million U.S. citizens and legal immigrants were left out of the spring plan, all because they were children or spouses of unauthorized immigrants.
And then and now the 9.3 million unauthorized immigrants whose incomes are “low enough to meet eligibility thresholds” will continue to be excluded.