President Joe Biden’s budget includes a provision that provides billions of dollars in cash to illegal aliens with children.
The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill extends the Child Tax Credit to anyone in the United States who provides an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, overturning a crucial safeguard against fraud. Federal law required a valid Social Security number to receive the cash transfer from the federal government. The potential payout for illegal immigrants is massive, with each family receiving a monthly payment of $250 to $300 per child.
A survey from the Pew Research Center found that roughly 675,000 children are not eligible for a Social Security number, making the tax credit expansion for illegal aliens cost between $2.025 billion to $2.43 billion a year. Other estimates put the total number of illegal children residing in the United States at more than 800,000.
Families, regardless of their legal status, would be eligible to receive checks of $3,600 per year per child. The Democratic bill would amount to a universal basic income for parents residing in the country. Under U.S. law, illegal immigrants are barred from enjoying the benefits of federal entitlements.
Democrats are trying to advance an amnesty provision into the budget reconciliation bill, a process reserved for budgetary matters. Congressional Democrats have argued that granting legal status to millions of illegal aliens would add $139.6 billion to the budget deficit by 2032 due to their increased use of welfare programs. The Senate parliamentarian ruled in September that Democrats cannot include a road to citizenship for illegals in their bill, although party leaders have vowed to keep fighting for its inclusion.
Welfare policy expert Samuel Hammond said the potential payout for illegals under the expanded Child Tax Credit exceeds the per capita income of many migrants' home countries.
"Consider that the value of the CTC for an infant child is now $3,600 per year. That alone represents 40 percent of Colombia’s per capita income, and nearly 120 percent of Haiti’s. This is why countries with unconditional welfare benefits also tend to have relatively restrictive immigration laws," Hammond wrote in American Compass. "America’s historical openness to immigration, in contrast, has in large part been enabled by rules and program structures that minimize the fiscal cost of lower wage migrants."
The White House did not return a request for comment on the Child Tax Credit provision.
As the country faces a historic surge of migrants applying for asylum, the Biden administration risks compounding the crisis by offering a greater financial incentive to those willing to make the trip to the southern border. One 2015 study commissioned by the Institute of Labor Economics concluded that expanding Norway’s welfare benefits to poorer European countries generated "substantial (expected) costs for the welfare state" and a distorted labor market.
"For families with children, [the cash benefit] entails that a job in Norway may be attractive even if the offered wage is extremely low. For example, the Norwegian cash‐for‐care subsidy for a one‐year-old child now amounts to NOK 6,000 per month, which … corresponds to 629 Euros, or around 80 percent of average earnings in Poland," the researchers wrote. "Such features give employers and prospective immigrant employees incentives to agree on very low wages and poor working conditions."