Federal Judge Rules that CARES Act Stimulus Funding Case of Children of Undocumented Parents Can Proceed

A ruling issued last week by the US District Court for the District of Maryland states that the federal government must face a lawsuit filed by the families of US citizen children whose parents have been denied coronavirus stimulus checks due to their status as undocumented immigrants. The court rejected the Department of Justice’s arguments that federal officials are immune from constitutional claims arising from how Congress and the US Treasury Department decided to administer relief funds.

At the end of March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided individual aid in the amount of $1,200 to eligible adults and $500 per child. However, these funds were distributed only to people with Social Security numbers, which by definition excludes undocumented people, despite the fact that they can still pay federal and state taxes under a different identification number. In addition to rejecting the government’s immunity arguments, the judge in this case ruled that at this stage, the plaintiff children had established that they had been directly harmed by this policy, and that they had standing to pursue their claims. The federal government is facing multiple lawsuits regarding how it has handled the administration of COVID-19 relief funds for individuals and businesses.

Additional Reading

Memorandum Opinion and Order, R.V. et al. v. Mnuchin et al., filed June 19, 2020, via Justia Dockets

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