Senator Wants Permanent Underclass, Creates Punitive Tax Code For Immigrants Who Achieve Legal Status

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"Senator Wants Permanent Underclass, Creates Punitive Tax Code For Immigrants Who Achieve Legal Status"

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has introduced measures that could permanently bar undocumented immigrants from receiving federal tax credits and health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act — even if they achieve legal status through comprehensive immigration reform.

The amendments, which could be offered when the Senate debates the budget later this week, seeks to prevent the undocumented population from qualifying for all refundable tax credits — including the homebuyer credit, the health coverage credit, and the child tax credit. Immigrants would be unable to take advantage of the tax benefits after they earn legal status and seek to integrate themselves into American society. They’ll pay the same taxes as others, but would be denied the assistance that their taxes are intended to cover.

Below is the text of the two amendments:

SEC. 3__. DEFICIT-REDUCTION RESERVE FUND TO ACHIEVE SAVINGS BY PROHIBITING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GRANTED LEGAL STATUS FROM QUALIFYING FOR A REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget may revise the allocations of a committee or committees aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, motions, or conference reports that achieve savings that may be related to the prohibition of illegal immigrants or aliens who were unlawfully present in the United States prior to receiving a grant of legal immigration status from qualifying for refundable tax credits, provided that such legislation would reduce the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2013 through 2018 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2013 through 2023. The Chairman may also make adjustments to the Senate’s pay-as-you-go ledger over 5 and 10 years to ensure that the deficit reduction achieved is used for deficit reduction only. The adjustments authorized under this section shall be the amount of deficit reduction achieved.

SEC. 3__. DEFICIT-REDUCTION RESERVE FUND TO ACHIEVE SAVINGS BY PROHIBITING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GRANTED LEGAL STATUS FROM QUALIFYING FOR FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED HEALTH CARE.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget may revise the allocations of a committee or committees aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, motions, or conference reports that achieve savings in health care that may be related to prohibiting illegal immigrants or aliens who were unlawfully present in the United States prior to receiving a grant of legal immigration status from qualifying for Federally subsidized health care without raising revenues, provided that such legislation would reduce the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2013 through 2018 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2013 through 2023. The Chairman may also make adjustments to the Senate’s pay-as-you-go ledger over 5 and 10 years to ensure that the deficit reduction achieved is used for deficit reduction only. The adjustments authorized under this section shall be the amount of deficit reduction achieved.

Undocumented immigrants are currently ineligible for most federally subsidized health care benefits like non-emergency Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare, and are unable to purchase full-price, unsubsidized health insurance through the exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.

Under the bipartisan immigration reform framework that is currently being drafted in the House and Senate, unauthorized immigrants would eventually be eligible for federal benefits once they attain permanent legal status. Sessions, however, would effectively force the population — estimated at 11 to 12 million — to use emergency rooms as primary care providers, shifting the costs of health care throughout the system, while economically disadvantaging immigrants who are seeking to become citizens.

Sessions has a long history of anti-immigrant sentiment. During a Senate Juidiciary hearing on Monday, the Alabama senator called for cutting out families entirely from the immigration system, arguing that keeping families together is not in the best interest of the U.S.

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