Letter to U.S. House of Representatives Regarding the Child Tax Credit for Immigrant Families, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

The Honorable Dave Camp
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Sander M. Levin
Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.20515

Dear Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin:

As you prepare your response to the reconciliation instructions contained in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget resolution, I wish to renew our strong opposition to unfair proposals that would alter the Child Tax Credit to exclude children of hard-working, immigrant families.

The bishops’ conference has long supported the Child Tax Credit because it is pro-work, pro-family, and one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation. In 2009, 2.3 million people, including 1.3 million children, were kept out of poverty by the Child Tax Credit. Proposals to deny the credit to children of working poor immigrant families--the large majority of whom are American citizens--would hurt vulnerable kids, increase poverty, and would not advance the common good. To exclude these children who are American citizens from the Child Tax Credit is unjust and wrong. We urge you to actively and publically oppose such measures.

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church clearly states the importance of ensuring that workers make 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 is a clear example of this. We must protect those programs that help low-income workers escape poverty and raise their children in dignity.

If you must find savings, I urge you to consider cuts that will not harm poor and vulnerable families and to refrain from cutting essential programs such as the Child Tax Credit.


Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire
Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

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