Rep. Connolly's testimony in support of providing stimulus checks to immigrant taxpayers


The Honorable Mark J. Cusack, House Chair
Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue

The Honorable Adam G. Hinds, Senate Chair
Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue

May 22, 2020

Dear Chairs Cusack and Hinds,

I write today in support of H4726, An Act to provide equal stimulus checks to immigrant taxpayers, filed by Representatives Christine Barber and Tricia Farley-Bouvier. This bill fills a critical gap to support Massachusetts residents excluded from the federal CARES Act stimulus funds. I also wish to express support for the Senate-version of this bill, S.2659, filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge.

As you know, many of our constituents received stimulus checks from the federal CARES Act, providing critical financial support in this time of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, anyone who files their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) was excluded from these benefits. Individuals who file and pay taxes using an ITIN are important contributors to our economy and our communities. Various individuals file utilizing ITINs, including undocumented immigrants. Not only are individuals who file using an ITIN impacted, but their families are impacted as well. Mixed-status families, where one or more family members file with an ITIN, are excluded from receiving CARES Act benefits.

This leaves a significant gap of about 57,000 individuals in Massachusetts who have not received any federal stimulus funds, despite the fact that they pay taxes. It is important to note that many undocumented immigrants also do not qualify for Unemployment Insurance or SNAP. They are excluded from the programs that are so critical for so many of our constituents. Our office has heard from countless individuals, many of them frontline workers providing the essential services that keep our society running, who have been left behind as a result of federal policy.

To fill that gap, this bill directs the state Department of Revenue to provide a stimulus check to ITIN taxpayers equal to the stimulus checks provided under the CARES Act. It is up to us to support our constituents and residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their immigration status. 

Though many of our constituents are struggling financially during this difficult time, undocumented immigrants have too often been forgotten in the response efforts. This bill takes a critical step to support these taxpaying residents of our Commonwealth, and I respectfully urge a favorable report on this bill.

Yours in service,

Rep. Mike Connolly