California Bishops Applaud California Officials For Expanding Tax Credit to Immigrants


California has finally remedied a grave injustice when the legislature passed and the governor signed AB 1876, which expands the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for immigrant families who pay income taxes but file their return with an Individual Taxpayer Id Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number.

The expansion allows all undocumented workers who meet income requirements to take part in CalEITC, a bi-partisan tax credit program that helps families who, despite working, fall below the poverty line.  Previously, the credit was limited to only taxpayers with a child under six.

“We celebrate today with our sisters and brothers in the immigrant community and thank our elected officials for addressing this inequity,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, who has worked with advocates to pass such legislation.

“Together we should continue to protect each other and our immigrant and low-income workers from the health and economic risks due to the pandemic and ensuing recession.  Working families need secure housing, accessible quality health care, and employment where they are respected and protected.  Children should be able to learn in environments where they are safe.”

One out of ten workers in California are undocumented.  Their labor – in agriculture, food distribution and service, housekeeping, elder care, childcare and other services – often goes unnoticed much of the time.  The pandemic has brought to light how “essential” their work is.

Many groups have been advocating for years to recognize the contributions made by undocumented workers.  These California workers contribute more than $180 billion per year to our economy by paying taxes with an Individual ITIN.

The California Legislature and Governor Newsom’s decision to include these taxpayers in the CalEITC means that the Golden State now provides these valuable workers the same benefits available to other Californians.

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