Illegal Aliens Continue to Receive Billions in Tax Credit Thanks to Harry Reid

If you paid taxes last year, you helped subsidize the income of illegal aliens.

Right now, the IRS doles out a $1000-per-kid Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to families regardless of immigration status. The result? Illegal aliens receive billions of taxpayer dollars each year, even if they haven’t paid any income tax themselves. (See IRS Child Tax Credit Factsheet, 2012)

In fact, the Inspector General for the U.S. Treasury Department released a report last year revealing that illegal aliens annually received $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits, primarily through the ACTC. (See IG Report, July 2011) Illegal aliens claim the ACTC by using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), which the IRS grants to them regardless of legal status.

On Tuesday, Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) requested their legislation (S. 577) to fix this problem be considered and passed on the Senate Floor. (Watch the debate here.) S. 577 would close this loophole by requiring that individuals who claim the ACTC provide a valid Social Security Number—something illegal aliens aren’t lawfully able to obtain. (See S. 577 § 2)

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objected to their request, insisting on stubbornly standing in the way of this needed solution. Sen. Reid attempted to justify his dismissal of the legislation by claiming S. 577 targets children who were born in the United States to illegal alien parents. (The Hill, May 22, 2012)

This legislation presents a common-sense solution to what is currently a grave injustice to hardworking American taxpayers, and a huge financial drain on U.S. revenue. Members of the House of Representatives agree, and have already passed similar companion legislation. (See H.R. 5652 § 611)

In doing so, Sen. Reid perpetuates the message that the U.S. government is perfectly happy to give hand-outs to anyone who dares to enter the U.S. illegally. Even if it’s on the backs of financially-strained American families.

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

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  3. avatar

    i am so sick of hearing about how illegal immigrants MUST be treated like citizens. THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY WHICH MAKES THEM CRIMINALS! last year Obama said our military and social security/SSDI recipients may not get paid on time if he wasnt allowed to borrow more money. I didnt hear a word about holding welfare checks from illegal aliens to pay our bills on time.
    I have an entire family of 5 living with my family right now because both parents had their hours cut and were evicted. When I went with her to the welfare office to ask for help (humiliating as that was) she was told that they couldnt help her and gave her the address to shelters for her and the children! Why did this happen when I my neighbors rent a 3 bedroom house next door and will tell you they “cant work” because they are illegal? Why are my friend and I having canned soup for dinner to make sure our meat lasts until payday for our children when my neighbors just put up an above ground pool?
    If we stopped paying cash, rent, utility, and food benefits to illegals and put that money directly into paying off our deficit how long would it take to pay it off? Instead of telling citizens that have worked, and PAID taxes for years to go live with family or at a shelter they should be telling illegals to go to a shelter or go the **** home!

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  5. avatar

    Illegal immigration will only be solved by 2 ways: 1) If poorer countries like Mexico, China, etc. raise their own standards of living for its citizens so there is no need for them to enter the US – this will never happen. 2) If our 2 political parties solve the problem: if Democrats stop supporting illegals for the large (and growing) Latin vote; and if Republicans end their own support to illegals for cheap labor for large and multi-national businesses – this also will never happen. Mitt Wall Street supports illegal immigration, the 1% and Wall St., and wants to do away with the minimum wage. Since Mexico, et al will not be improving anytime soon, the US salaries will decrease substantially in the coming years. This is what’s known as the race to the bottom, and America being “competitive” in the world market. Also, the world population is exploding – and not for parents who can afford to have children. When your child is hungry or sick, do you really think about the immigration laws of another country – about right or wrong? I haven’t even mentioned the mafia world of drugs and international money laundering we find ourselves in – a Trillion dollar per year business controlling banks, politicians, and entire countries. It is time for Americans to realize (and I know this is difficult) that their country is gone. Fairness is gone.

    How can the problem of illegal immigration actually be solved or even improved given all this?

  6. avatar

    “…Sen. Reid attempted to justify his dismissal of the legislation by claiming S. 577 targets children who were born in the United States to illegal alien parents.”
    Reids linquistic ballet in this sentence shows the need for all of us to reframe the national identity assumptions in our minds.
    What Harry Ried actually said was:” …. S. 577 targets FORIEGN NATIONAL children who were born in the United States to ILLEGAL ALIEN (tresspassing foriegn national) parents.”
    The 14th Amendement affirms citizenship to the FREEDMEN (emancipatd slaves)and their descendants, and not simply anyone dropped on U.S. soil at birth. Foriegn nationals and their descendants are not under U.S. jurisdiction, and therefore are not automatically granted U.S. citizen status.
    Remember, “children who were born in the United States to illegal alien parents” = Foriegn National Children.

  7. avatar

    This issue has long been talked about for 30 or 40 years, and each President, including George Bush, just kept kicking the can down the road. Since Harry Reid is such a bottle neck, I really can’t understand why his constituents don’t vote him out of office. Problem fixed, at least to some degree. The House passes bill after bill, they are sent to the Senate and Harry just sits on them. And, please, close the damn Border!!!

    • avatar

      Since Harry Reid is such a bottle neck, I really can’t understand why his constituents don’t vote him out of office.

      If Steve Wynn is an indicator, Harry wont make the next election win. Liberal Las Vegas put in him back in the Senate, and the woeful hard times Vegas has suffered (even with Reid as Senate majority leader its worse than California) has educated them marvulously, I think.
      Lets see.

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Immigrants on

      Lea: Harry Reid won the last election fraudulently as illegal immigrants were allowed to vote and Harry Reid’s name was preselected on some voting machines. Unfortunately, the Obama DOJ Voting Section will not investigate as Obama is selective in the enforcement of laws. The book Injustice by J. Christian Adams reveals many examples of the Obama administration’s failure to enforce law equally.

  8. avatar
    Stephen Browning on

    I have had a job working since 1949 and I have paid taxes almost every year since then. I also spent 15 years in the U. S. Air Force. I retired and I have several health prom\blems. My medical problems are taken care of by the Vet Hospital, but I still have to pay for my meds out of my Social Security Check. They say, “you make too much money, to get my meds at no co-pay.” I barley have enough money to pay the bills let alone pay for the meds. Right now, I owe the VA almost $4000.00 in meds. That could be paid for with the money that the alians are getting, that they did not work for.

    • avatar

      I am sorry to hear that. We must continue to fight for our rights, our country, and stand against taxation without representation, and the abuse of taxpayer funds and the injustice of taxpayers being shorted.

  9. avatar
    Craig R. McNees on

    We are always too broke when it comes to our govt. serving or military, our veterans, or legal American taxpayers, but we seem to have unlimited resources to give to illegal aliens and foreign countries that hate us.

  10. avatar
    John DiPaolo on

    Is an Arizona style immigration law coming to California?

    In the wake of a $16 Billion budget shortfall and a US Supreme Court ruling favoring Arizona’s crackdown on illegal populations the Almighty referendum in California may come into heated conflict with out of touch “representatives” in the Golden State.

    Polls continue to show most Californians favor stricter immigration enforcement, including an Arizona style immigration law as well as mandatory E-Verify. Yet the California legislature continues to impose “illegal immigration magnets” such as anti E-Verify laws etc.

    Proposition 187 (The Save our State referendum of 1994) passed by an overwhelming majority but was overturned by a federal judge. With the US Supreme Court upholding Arizona’s “controversial” immigration law things would be different this time.

    Immigration is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla that nobody wants to discuss.

    I’d like to continue this discussion.

    Please contact [email protected]

    • avatar

      You betcha, my grandparents worked themselves to death to come here LEGALLY.
      Kick the illegals out, now and the anchor babies.

      Don’t vote for Obama, he’ll do anything for votes. Legal or otherwise.

  11. avatar

    Hey everybody, be sure to tell the younger generation that they will be paying for this too. Right now, every babies that’s born in United States already owe $40,000.00. Anyway ELECTION IS NOT TOO FAR AWAY, SO GET OUT AND VOTE THE CROOKS OUT OF OFFICE.

    • avatar
      Beverly Hall on

      Corruption has already hit the polls where Florida has 93,000 dead people registered to vote!
      Support organizations working for clean elections.

  12. avatar
    Trevor Willis on

    I agree completely with everything that everyone has posted. But I think we are all missing the boat here. Although illegal aliens and the billions of dollars that they cost U.S. taxpayers yearly burns my a** more than any other topic, we alone will never be able to rein this in without government reform! Just look at our current healthcare system and the price of our prescription drugs! Special interest groups make the laws in this country–NOT the federal government! Until we get these groups out of Washington, we will never have our say! Illegal aliens are a special interest group. When we allow families to remain in this country because of anchor babies, etc., we are only continuing to build a stronger voter base for people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Couple this with the fact that the largest turnout of the voting-aged population in a national election since the 1960’s is 56.8% (2008)!!!!!!!This all contributes to the fact that no matter how hard we try, we can’t even get enough votes against them to get them out of office! I live in Iowa. We have a state Senator who, when he was first voted into office, was from a poor family and wanted to promote change. Many years later, he is a multi-term, MILLIONAIRE!!!!!! This money did NOT come from just his salary (currently $174,000 annually)! All of our elected officials at the federal level are NOT making decisions based on what is best for the country as a whole, but they are making decisions that pad their own pockets! I have had the opportunity to be involved in politics and I have had the unfortunate circumstance of having to deal with many politicians at both the state and federal levels, and half of the time when you speak to them, they don’t have a clue what you are talking about (unless they have been briefed by staff five minutes before a meeting)! When you speak to them or write them, they tell you what you want to hear or they send you a “form” letter from their office thanking you for your interest in whatever topic you have addressed and then they turn around and go right back to conducting business as if you didn’t even exist!
    And for those of you who want to blame one party or the other—-WAKE UP!!!!!!!! This topic, or any other for that matter, is NOT solely the result of the Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, Independents, or ANY single political group!! Politicians on both sides of the aisle are corrupt!! I am so sick and tired of members from one party voting against legislation sponsored by the other party–simply because they don’t want to cross party lines!! Why can’t they use their own education and research to make decisions that are most beneficial to the entire country instead of wondering which special interest group is best suited to subsidize their own retirement?!!? It is very true that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are two of the absolute worst politicians this country has ever seen, but the Republicans have had their fair share as well (Joe McCarthy, David Duke, Strom Thurmond, Richard Nixon–just to name a few)!!
    There IS strength in numbers, but it is going to be how we focus that strength that will make the difference between much needed change and the status-quo!!!!

    • avatar

      I totally agree that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are (2)two of the worse politicians that the U.S. have EVER
      had. They obviously have been BOUGHT off by “special interests” groups just like the CLINTON’s when
      they wanted everyone to sign the NAFTA/CAFTA deals. It has been researched and PROVEN that
      the CLINTON’s make millions annually to hold conferences to keep the certificates in place and continuing.
      NOW imagine our OWN U.S. government signed certificates that have taken TRILLIONS of manufacturing dollars from the U.S. The U.S. in the past was the “LARGEST” manufacturer in the world. HOW many
      products are NOW produces in the U.S. How high is “UNEMPLOYMENT”. The government is spending millions of dollars to FEED U.S. citizens and their families because they DO NOT have jobs. The government said we could SPARE those low income paying TEXTILE jobs, well COULD WE spare those jobs, NO they have cost the U.S. in welfare and others programs, plus those MANUFACTURERS contributed to the “COMMUNITY” programs;
      school, churches,cancer and heart funds, etc. Our own GOVERNMENT sold US OUT!!! 🙁 VOTE out the politicians like REID and PELOSI…..The DRUG Lords and OIL company’s have all the money to buy off the POLICTIANS….maybe we don’t TOUCH Illegals because they are PROTECTED by DRUG Dollars!!!!

  13. avatar

    Well here we go again, our treasury being pilferred. It seems to me that if it’s not the crooks in Washington it’s the illegal aliens and their activist. What is really disgusting about all of this, is that when a citizen fails to pay his or hers taxes the IRS is fast to come after everything one owns. Here we have illegal aliens committing fraud and it’s perfectly okay. Harry Reid and all of the rest of the crooks in Washington need to be removed ASAP. Of course we have the biggest promoter of all of this. Obama.

    • avatar

      Read the book ‘Screwed’ to see how our politicians can’t wait to be lobbyists to make more money.
      And how our so called ‘friends’, South Korea, China, etal are working to kill us off.

  14. avatar

    That i s more then the American government gives the average American citizen, no wonder this country is going down the drain, We have filled our government with idiots and thieves such as Reid, Pelosi and a few thousand more Including Obama recipe for failure , Come on Americans we deserve better than that.

  15. avatar

    i agree with all is against the law..if i commit a crime i expect to be punished. how come the legal people of same race dont speak up? is it ok to give criminals benefits and our servivemen who fought for “their” “freedom” do without..seniors who paid into the system for many years struggle to make ends meet physically, financially and are without…many still helping struggling siblings who have sometimes overspent, overcharged, but we still with our 1270. 1500. 700, a month ssi help them…when will this ever end. i would just like to “start over” many people are on welfare that are just simply too lazy to go to wori cause they wuld have to take a mediocre job which is beneath them…our colleges are bleeding us dry with costs for teaching our fine kids “liberal and unamerican theology…God help this nation! he is the only one who can.

  16. avatar
    Steve Paramore on

    It’s wrong for illegal aliens to recieve any sort of Federal assistance that is paid by U.S. taxpayers dollars. It never should have been allowed, and it absolutely needs to cease as of yesterday.

    As well as, the “anchor baby” law needs to be flushed down a deep and dark hole. It has been abused and taken advantage of for far, far too long. If parents are illegal, so are the kids. Doesn’t matter where they are born….citizenship should be derived only from the parents citizenship…both parents. One parent an illegal….kids are illegal.

    Make all have a green card or leave the country.


    • avatar

      Why are children born outside this country of US citisens, not Americans, but children born of illegals are Americans?

      Give me a break, we are going down the tube.

  17. avatar
    Joel Wischkaemper on will also do a good job of sending your emails. Keep it clean and short, and it will arrive and be read.

    A fact of life is escaping all of us. MOST jobs are at the small business level and it is clear that level of business cannot consistently abuse the American People. Big business (which then abuses small businesses with lower overhead supplied by cheap wages) DOES go after the illegal aliens as employees. Illegal aliens come north for a job and at that point there is the fall out of illegal aliens to smaller businesses, but the problems start with big business, or start with the folks who supply temporary employees.

    One other point: if you examine the policies of Doris Messer, you discover the illegal aliens and cross border migration has a very significant supporter.

    MPI | Staff
    Doris Meissner, former Commissioner of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is a Senior Fellow at MPI, where she directs the Institute’s US …

    She doesn’t play fair and she would love to see Fairus become history. Call her the lurking enemy because she has a lot fingers in this stew.

  18. avatar
    Delaware Bob on

    Is there such a thing as having him recalled? I believe he has serious mental problems. I think he still as that seat by dead people voting along with the illegal aliens. He is the illegal aliens best friend.

    • avatar

      Delaware Bob, I completely agree with you. I think Harry Reid is a senile old jackass and he should impeached, he is mentally incompetent and needs to be removed from office. Shame on Nevada for forcing him on us again!!

  19. avatar
    Linda Barrier on


    • avatar

      I agree, it’s disgusting. The younger generation (most of them) will not notice until they become taxpayers…..I think that’s why President Obama speaks to so many college campuses.

      I have a friend in a situation similar to yours, and it IS wrong. It should be illegal and prosecuted. She, too, worked
      20 – 30 years paying taxes, and now she can’t get a dime of help while she watches a lot of likely illegals getting the
      benefits that she’s been denied.

  20. avatar

    I wonder what our “representatives” would do if the American public decided to start only obeying the laws of this country that they believe in. The “representative” do just that. Why have any laws at all, if they are not inforced? Being in the USA illegally is breaking our laws. What do they not understand? Is is more votes or money? They get stupider by the day. I have bombarded my congressman and senators with emails. Please do the same in your area. Let them know that the citizens are really not as dumb as they believe we are.

  21. avatar

    So much money going to illegals or “residents” when we have disabled, elderly, veterans, etc., without proper medical, dental or mental health benefits or even safe/clean places to live. I love my country but the government needs to focus on us, not on “making it right” with the rest of the world.

  22. avatar
    Phyllis Cates on

    This just upsets me to the max. I am so sick of supporting illegal aliens and their anchor babies. What happens if we all claim the credit or just stop filing taxes.

    Call/write/email your congressional reps/senators and DEMAND deportation of all illegal aliens and their anchor babies. If they receive enough calls they MAY deport them. Probably not, but if they all get enough calls from their constituents they just may hear us.

    • avatar

      Fax your disgust to Senator Reid “Robin Hood” via Fax @202-224-7327. Perhaps if enough of us do, something can be done. This is highway robbery. Who does he think he is giving our money to people who broke into the country illegally. Can’t wait til he, Pelosi and Obama are gone. We are not the rich!

  23. avatar
    Jan Logsdon on

    When did we get to the point where all aliens can claim such a credit? The people need to take back the country from the politicians and instill national pride in all our actions!

  24. avatar
    Michael Nahra on

    What every US citizen should do is start claiming this credit themselves until the government is crippled due to a lack of funding. What works for the illegal goose is just a good for the legal gander.

    • avatar
      CHRIS SMITH on

      I think we are already crippled due to lack of funds. I suggest we discover how to go in the other direction..soon. What ever happened to common sense? Does anyone have it anymore?

      • avatar

        Common sense died along with reason, many years ago. I believe it was the time that the democrats and liberals came in power.