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How The Stimulus Package Leaves Out U.S. Citizens With Undocumented Spouses

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Stimulus checks are rolling into bank accounts across the country, but many have experienced confusion about when, and if, their portion of the $2 trillion economic relief package is coming. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act stipulates that tax filers are eligible if they fall within a certain income bracket, but some American citizens will not receive their check even if they meet those requirements. A provision in the tax law bars citizens who are married and filing jointly with undocumented immigrants from receiving the aid.

The left-leaning outlet North Carolina Policy Watch estimates this provision excludes at least 300,000 adults and children across the state. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of six plaintiffs who are married to immigrants without Social Security numbers.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Victoria Bouloubasis, independent journalist and investigative reporter for Enlace Latino NC, about the exclusion and what it means for North Carolina communities.

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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