An illegal immigration amnesty program is coming under fire, with critics saying that President Obama’s unilateral action will allow millions of undocumented Americans to enroll in controversial and fraud-ridden programs.
Last month, Obama announced a deportation relief program that allows as many as 4.4 million currently illegal immigrants to live in the United States permanently — and legally. The program targets both parents and those who were brought to America as children.
Though the executive order could come under attack by future presidents, Obama said it is likely to remain permanent.
“Any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think would not have the support of the American people,” the president said.
As part of the illegal immigration effort, Obama urged those affected to stay and work in the United States. That would allow them to also apply for benefit programs. Some critics have attacked this plan, saying that it could lead to millions enrolling in two popular benefit programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.
The right-leaning Washington Examiner attacked the illegal immigration amnesty plan, saying it will lead to even more waste of government resources.
As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government. A newly-released report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service confirms that the EITC is plagued by fraud (which was already well known) and also reveals for the first time that the ACTC is even worse.
The two programs, intended for low-income workers, are what is known as refundable tax credits. That means they give workers a tax refund that is larger than their tax liability. So a family with a tax bill of $1,000 might receive an EITC “refund” of $5,000, meaning the family doesn’t write a check to the government but rather receives a check from the government. The ACTC works similarly for low-income workers with children.
According to the inspector general, the IRS paid out $63 billion in EITC benefits in 2013. Of that, 24 percent, or about $15 billion, was given improperly to people not qualified to receive it. That improper payment rate has been enough to qualify the EITC as a “high risk” program for years.
But despite the worries, the illegal immigration program has been widely successful. Recent workshop for illegal immigrants have been held nationwide, including one in Los Angeles that drew close to 10,000 people.
[Image via Brietbart]