Court Battles

Lawsuit against Trump denial of stimulus checks to undocumented parents advances

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The lawsuit filed against the Trump administration over the denial of coronavirus stimulus checks to undocumented parents with U.S citizen children is being allowed to move forward under a federal judge’s ruling on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm denied the administration’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the children of undocumented parents presented a clear argument that they were directly harmed after their parents were refused the children’s stimulus money.

Grimm wrote in his denial that the families had “adequately pled that the CARES Act discriminates against the Citizen Children Plaintiffs and the Parent Plaintiffs as their representatives based on their parents’ alienage.”

The Justice Department and Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Grimm also said the U.S. citizen children demonstrated they experienced a constitutional violation with the denial. 

The stimulus bill approved by Congress earlier this year provided parents with $500 for each child under 17 in addition to the $1,200 maximum for each adult during the coronavirus pandemic. But the adults had to have Social Security numbers in order to get checks.

The lawsuit filed against the administration argues that undocumented immigrants with U.S. citizen children paid federal and state taxes and would have met the threshold to receive the stimulus money without the Social Security requirement. The families argued the children were being discriminated against and treated differently than other U.S. citizens.

The federal judge also rejected the Justice Department’s arguments that the administration was immune from this kind of constitutional claim and that families couldn’t sue for money damages.

The federal judge’s ruling permits the families’ lawyers to begin asking for records from the administration, BuzzFeed News noted.

Mary McCord, a lawyer for the families with the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center, told BuzzFeed News in an email that the ruling “recognizes the urgency of the matter.”

“Plaintiffs hope that [C]ongress will take note and enact legislation to revise the CARES Act to provide badly needed emergency funds to U.S. citizen children, regardless of whether their parents are documented,” she said.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Department of Treasury Discrimination Donald Trump Justice Department Lawsuit Social Security stimulus checks undocumented immigrants

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