US needs to cut funding for illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants need only one number to access billions of dollars in free taxpayer cash.This is a scandal that the Obama administration appeared to wink at. This incentive to stay in the US illegally needs to be cut off immediately and the Justice Department should look at prosecuting those using the program.
The Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) unlocks an exclusive gateway for non-citizens to receive monies meant for working, low-income Americans. The nine-digit code was created by bureaucrats in 1996 for foreigners who had to deal with the IRS. It allows people without a Social Security number, including those in the country illegally, to file taxes.
“It’s just a farce to say it was created to collect taxes,” Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News. “It’s nothing but a welfare program designed for illegal immigrants. ITINS are for tourists or illegals. No ITIN filer is eligible to work in the United States.”
The problem with ITIN, critics say, is gives non-citizens access to federal cash that they should not be entitled to receive. Once illegal immigrants file ITIN tax returns, they can apply for a Child Tax Credit – which entitles them to $1,000 per child. Unlike the Earned Income Tax Credit, which requires a Social Security Number to qualify, the Child Tax Credit is a cash program that does not.
Numerous investigations by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have chronicled not only improper Child Tax Credit fraud and error payments ranging from $5.9 billion to $7.1 billion, but schemes such as nearly 24,000 ITIN payments going to the same address. The audit reports also found IRS management was “not concerned with addressing questionable applications” but “interested only in the volume of applications that can be processed, regardless of whether they are fraudulent.”
Another audit report examining ITIN usage found Child Tax Credit claims more than quadrupled in five years, from $924 million in 2005 to $4.2 billion in 2010.