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March 16, 2016
United States House of Representatives
Committee on Ways and Means
Washington, D.C. 20515
We write to express our opposition to H.R. 4722, legislation to require inclusion of the taxpayer's social security number to claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit, and to urge your vote against this measure should it be brought for a vote before the Committee on Ways and Means.
We welcome pro-family proposals that would expand assistance to parents with children, and improve family formation and stability. We have concerns, however, with the extent to which H.R. 4722 would exclude some poor and vulnerable families from receiving this vital assistance.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church points out that workers have a right to a family wage, "a wage sufficient to maintain a family and allow it to live decently. . . . There can be several different ways to make a family wage a concrete reality. Various forms of important social provisions help to bring it about, for example, family subsidies and other contributions for dependent family members. . ." (no. 250). The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a clear example of such a subsidy.
H.R. 4722 would deny the additional, refundable CTC to up to five million children--the large majority of whom are American citizens--of working immigrant families. This would hurt vulnerable youth, would increase poverty and family instability, and would be detrimental to the common good.
Our organizations have long supported the CTC because it is pro-work, pro-family, and one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation. As a result of the increasing prevalence of low-wage work in our economy, wage subsidies provided by the government, through vehicles such as the Child Tax Credit, for millions of families are the difference between working in poverty and achieving basic financial security. Excluding children of hardworking immigrant families from receiving this assistance would be unjust and wrong. We ask you to support policies that expand effective antipoverty programs to vulnerable populations, rather than excluding them.
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
Most Reverend Eusebio Elizondo
Committee on Migration
Sr. Donna Markham, OP, PhD
President and CEO
Catholic Charities USA
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