Congressman Panetta Cosponsors the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act to Include Immigrants in Coronavirus Relief Response

April 5, 2020
Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced that he cosponsored the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act to allow individuals with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) to receive direct monetary payments provided by federal coronavirus response aid.  

Currently, taxpayers with ITIN are not eligible for direct monetary payment provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act amends the CARES Act ensure ITIN taxpayers receive that aid.  Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), and Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) are the lead sponsors of the bill.

“The numerous closures of our local businesses during this pandemic will disproportionately affect immigrants on the central coast of California,” said Congressman Panetta.  “While Congress passed the CARES Act to provide community members direct monetary assistance, the legislation leaves out coverage for some of those immigrants who pay their taxes and contribute so much to our economy and community.  The Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act fixes that glitch by allowing these taxpayers to use their ITIN to get the aid that they need to get through this trying time and continue to contribute to who we are as a nation.”

Congressman Correa said, “I was appalled to learn hardworking, taxpaying immigrants were left out of the $2 trillion CARES Act. These taxpayers work in critical sectors of our economy, like agriculture, and contribute greatly to our country. While many of us sit at home, these hardworking immigrants are still at work in our hospitals, our fields, and countless other industries. The coronavirus doesn’t care about a person’s wealth, job, or immigration status. By casting out immigrants, we are placing some of our most vulnerable residents in grave danger. Every individual taxpayer, irrespective of citizenship status, needs government assistance now.”

“The CARES Act is meant to help our whole economy survive this crisis. You cannot do that by excluding entire segments of the population. This virus does not care about immigration status. It does not discriminate and neither should we. Immigrants own businesses and homes, support families, and pay rent, and contribute to their communities. Making it impossible for them to receive the same benefit we are sending to everyone else just means those immigrants will have a harder time affording food or rent, and that leaves us all worse off. I hope to see this corrected in the next relief package,” said Congresswoman Chu.

Congressman Grijalva said, “Immigrants—regardless of their status—are taxpayers who are working in some of the most important jobs keeping our economy running during this difficult time. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It impacts all communities and people of all backgrounds. Our relief programs shouldn’t discriminate against those who need help during this crisis, and this legislation ensures that immigrants with ITINs can get the economic relief they deserve.”