Today, Fox's Eric Bolling hyped legislation that would deny tax credits to families with American citizen children and misrepresented the position of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the issue.
There have been some reports of people fraudulently claiming the tax credit based on children who do not live in the United States. But rather than pushing for a solution to the fraud, Bolling hyped legislation that would stop all undocumented immigrant parents from claiming any portion of the tax credit for their children, even if those children are American citizens.
Undocumented immigrants are required to pay federal income taxes, just as citizens and other immigrants must do. Federal tax law currently allows families that earn below a certain income level to take a Child Tax Credit for each citizen or resident alien child in the family, and at some income levels, the tax credit is refundable, meaning that some taxpayers claiming the Child Tax Credit will receive a refund check from the government that is greater than the amount of tax that was withheld from their paychecks.
Undocumented immigrants also can -- and often do -- have U.S. citizen children. This is due to the fact that the Constitution states that all people born in the United States are automatically entitled to citizenship regardless of the immigration status of their parents.
The legislation at issue, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), would require anyone claiming the Child Tax Credit to have a valid Social Security number, which is unavailable to undocumented immigrants. It contains no exception for immigrants with American citizen children. And it blocks undocumented immigrants from claiming any part of the Child Tax Credit, not merely the part that is refundable.
During the segment, Bolling falsely claimed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who recently objected to Vitter's attempt to have the Senate pass the bill by unanimous consent, "wants to block efforts" to make it illegal for people to commit Child Tax Credit fraud.
In fact, Reid actually noted that the tax code is already very clear that "the child tax credit is not available for children living outside the United States" and that the legislation in question "takes a sledgehammer to a problem that deserves some very fine tuning and a scalpel." Reid added that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is working with the IRS "to determine if its procedures are strong enough to stop" Child Tax Credit fraud, and said that if the procedures are not strong enough, "then it is up to Congress to plug any loopholes that may exist."
Furthermore, according to the National Council of La Raza, the legislation hyped by Bolling would fall disproportionately on poor Hispanic families and for the typical taxpayer affected by the legislation, who earns $21,240 per year, the legislation would amount to "a loss of $1,800 in the typical family's income per year."
To top it all off, on-screen text during the segment used the "illegals" slur to refer to undocumented immigrants.