A proposed class action lawsuit against President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Acting Department of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin alleges the government has denied $1,200 CARES Act relief payments to United States citizens married to immigrants who lack Social Security numbers.
According to the 15-page lawsuit, the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, allows the IRS to disburse $1,200 to Americans who earn up to $75,000 in gross adjusted income and have Social Security numbers, as well as $500 per child under the age of 17. To be eligible for a CARES Act payment, the suit says, an individual:
Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualifying alien resident;
Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return;
Must have a Social Security number valid for employment, with an exception for spouses of U.S. Armed Forces members; and
Must have an adjusted gross income below an amount based on their filing status and the number of their qualifying children.
The lawsuit says, however, that 1.2 million American citizens who jointly file taxes with spouses who are immigrants, do not hold Social Security numbers and are not in the military are ineligible to receive a CARES Act stimulus check. Per the case, the John Doe plaintiff is married to an immigrant “who pays taxes and files tax returns with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” and has not received a $1,200 payment through the CARES Act.
“Had [the] Plaintiff not been married to an immigrant, Plaintiff and his children would have otherwise qualified for a Stimulus Check,” the complaint reads.
The complaint argues that the withholding of CARES Act payments to those without Social Security numbers despite their marriages to American citizens is a violation of civil rights laws.
“Defendants have intentionally and/or recklessly punished certain United States citizens and their children from receiving the Stimulus Check for the sole reason of who they chose to marry,” the lawsuit alleges.
According to the suit, the defendants’ denial of CARES Act stimulus payments to families in which one spouse is an immigrant who’s jointly filed taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a violation of the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.