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RELIEF Bill helps some unemployment claimants while leaving tax paying undocumented immigrants out

Posted at 9:50 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 07:31:22-05

MARYLAND — We’ve been hearing from a lot of people who make over the $50,000 threshold with three or more children who aren’t eligible for this relief but badly need it.

RELATED: Hogan to sign RELIEF Act into law, clearing way for direct payments to Earned Income Tax Credit recipients

This bill does help out some people still waiting on unemployment claims, but at the same time an amendment was removed that would have included undocumented immigrants who pay taxes.

“Undocumented immigrants pay millions of dollars in taxes and they should be included and able to get relief,” said Cathryn Paul

Paul is a Research and Policy Analyst for CASA, a Latino and Immigrant group who has been fighting to have the people they represent included in the RELIEF Act.

Last week a revision passed through the house and Senate to include undocumented immigrants who file taxes.

The Governor removed the revision and now the next step for them is to get veto proof support for another bill that expands Earned income tax credits.

“This has obviously been devastating for immigrant families to see once again they are left out of much needed relief,” Paul said.

The Relief Act also addresses unemployment benefits, by repealing the customary state and local income taxes associated with them.

Adrianne Foster said she’s been on hold for unemployment for months, she’s fighting disqualifications that never should have been placed on her account.

“I have people calling me. I’ve had, thank god normally with work I’m a person who faithfully pays my bills so people have been considerate of the fact, some people not all,” Foster said.

In the meantime, she’s one of the claimants who may get a $1,000 grant if their claim is pending a determination of eligibility and adjudication for at least 30 days.

There is an exception of claims that may be held up due to fraud.

Ann Nanakorn is an employee at Baltimore County Public Schools.

The district told the state she was coming back to work September 8th, but it never happened.

Since September she was waiting on answers that never came.

The money from the bill will help but it’s not going to make up for what has happened.

“For a lot of us it’s just too late,” Nanakorn said. “It’s wonderful that someone is looking out for us like that. It’s just too late. There’s things that can’t be fixed now. Like a place to live for example.”

On Tuesday at 11 a.m. the Comptroller of Maryland is holding a Facebook live on the RELIEF Act stimulus payments and the bill's tax aspects.