Monday, October 26, 2020

Trump sued for denying stimulus checks to US citizens married to immigrants

President Trump faces a lawsuit over the federal government declining to issue $1,200 stimulus checks to U.S. citizens who are married to immigrants without Social Security numbers.

The litigation comes after the IRS said that only married couples in which both spouses hold valid Social Security numbers will receive the payments. The suit, filed by a U.S. citizen and Illinois resident identified only as “John Doe,” alleges that the ban violates the Constitution and is a form of discrimination “based solely on whom he chose to marry.”

Two of the attorneys who are representing John Doe told CBS MoneyWatch that more American citizens in the same situation have reached out to them since they filed the complaint. The stimulus checks are part of the government’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, which provides $1,200 for single taxpayers earning less than $75,000 and $2,400 for married couples earning less than $150,000.

The plaintiff in the suit would have qualified for a $1,200 stimulus check except that he files taxes with his immigrant spouse, who uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The suit also states that his children are excluded because one parent is an immigrant.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, families with children under the age of 17 are entitled to stimulus funds of $500 per child. “It’s our humble opinion that U.S. citizens are U.S. citizens,” said Lana B. Nassar, an attorney at Blaise & Nitschke, PC, who is representing John Doe.

“Discrimination based on the alienage of a U.S. citizen’s spouse is presumptively unconstitutional and subject to strict scrutiny,” it claims. The lawsuit was filed Friday in a federal court in Chicago.

CBS NEWS