May 5 (UPI) -- Legal advocates filed a lawsuit on behalf of U.S. citizens whose parents are undocumented immigrants that have been denied $500 coronavirus economic relief payments for their children.
Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy an Protection filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland on behalf of seven children citing "intentional and discriminatory exclusion of" U.S. Citizen children from receiving the stimulus check.
The lawsuit states that the provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act that provides payments to taxpayers violates the equal protection principles of the Fifth Amendment by not allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for the payment without a Social Security number.
"The CARES Act provides payments solely to taxpayers who file their taxes using a Social Security Number -- meaning U.S. citizens and immigrants with work authorization -- thereby denying payments to U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants who pay their taxes using an individual taxpayer identification number," the complaint states.
Congress passed the CARES Act in March, including a provision providing taxpayers with a onetime payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 for each dependent child under 16.
The lawsuit names Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the U.S. government as defendants and seeks payments of up to $500 for each U.S. citizen child named in the lawsuit in accordance with the legislation.
"The decision to not provide economic impact payments to support citizen children harms the children directly and is a slap in the face to millions of hard-working tax-paying immigrants who comply with our tax laws, file tax returns and pay billions of dollars in taxes," professor Leslie Book, of Vilanova Widger School of Law, said.