WASHINGTON — Question:
Are undocumented immigrants really set to get up to $1,800 in stimulus checks, three times more than citizens?
No. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for stimulus checks because they do not have social security numbers. Family members of undocumented immigrants are now eligible for these payments, so long as they qualify.
These family members must be citizens or green card holders, with a social security number to collect their stimulus checks.
- Text of the Bill, Senate Amendment to H.R. 133
- Julia Gelatt, Senior Policy Analyst at Migration Policy Institute
- April Walker, Lead Manager for Tax Practice & Ethics at the Association of International CPA's
- Senator Mark Warner, D-VA
On social media, claims have been spreading about the stimulus checks of $600, which will soon be on the way, now that a bipartisan bill has been signed into law by President Trump.
One rumor has been spreading about undocumented immigrants. Online posts claim that undocumented immigrants are eligible for up to $1,800 in stimulus checks, under the new bill.
"Illegal aliens get 3x the amount of stimulus money as you do -- assuming you get any at all," wrote one person on Twitter.
To verify this claim, we turned to the bill itself and got context from April Walker from the Association of International CPA's and Julia Gelatt from the Migration Policy Institute. Our team also looked over statements from Congressional leadership of both parties.
Our experts said that this online claim was false.
"No unauthorized immigrants are getting Stimulus Checks under the new plan," said Gelatt. "And none got stimulus checks under the CARES Act.”
“Basically if you don’t have a social security number," Walker added. "You’re not going to get a stimulus check.”
Our experts said the confusion is likely due to a portion of the bill, allowing “mixed-status” households to receive stimulus checks. A "mixed-status" household is a family that includes at least one spouse that is a citizen or green card holder with a social security number, and another that is undocumented.
In the first round of stimulus checks back in March, the $1,200 stimulus check was not offered to "mixed-status" families. This meant that many citizens with qualifying incomes were left out of the first round of stimulus checks.
“The new fix is that - you know - US citizens or green card holders can get their stimulus payments regardless of who they married and who they filed taxes with,” Gelatt said.
Under the new law, a citizen or green card holder with a social security number, who is in a mixed-status family, will be entitled to the $600 check. The couple would also be eligible for an additional $600 for each child dependent.
The bill also retroactively makes the citizen or green card holder in that mixed-status family eligible for the $1,200 stimulus check from last March. These payments would be offered as tax rebates.
This explains the $1,800 figure being spread on social media. This is the amount of money available to the spouse with a social security number in a mixed-status family, combining the $1,200 rebate, and the $600 check from the second stimulus.
The online rumors are false. This money will not be going to undocumented people, who are still not receiving any stimulus checks.