Fort Worth

‘The Whole Family Was Excluded' Mixed-Status Families Feel Betrayed After Being Denied Stimulus Checks

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American citizens who’ve married undocumented immigrants are experiencing another layer of frustration amid the global pandemic. Their mixed-status family disqualifies them for stimulus funds.

Christina Segundo-Hernandez of Fort Worth said she feels mistreated by the country she calls home all because of who she chose to marry.

She and her husband are working reduced hours. So, she was looking forward to a stimulus check. Her husband, though, is undocumented.

“I knew that my husband wouldn’t,” she said. “But I was for sure that at least me and my children who were American born citizens would at least get it.”

A check never came, and she soon discovered it never would.

“I think I was hurt because I felt like I was less of an American. They treated my entire family as if we’re all undocumented,” said Segundo-Hernandez.

Segundo-Henandez and her husband file joint taxes, with her social security number and with his Individual Tax Identification Number, or ITIN.

Still, under the CARES Act, everyone on the tax return must have a valid social security number. Immigration Attorney Jennifer Walker Gates said the language is clear.

“It says specifically that an individual tax id number, or ITIN, is not a valid social security number,” said Walker Gates.

For mixed-status families, this means a stimulus check should not be expected.

“I think for most people, unfortunately, it’s going to be too late to get this stimulus money,” said Walker Gates. " Even some members of the most anti-immigrant groups in the country have acknowledged that US citizens spouses and children should not be excluded this relief act simply because they’re married to someone who is undocumented."

Segundo-Hernandez said she’s found support in other families in the same situation. But as an American citizen, she feels betrayed.

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