If you paid taxes last year, you helped subsidize the income of illegal aliens.

Right now, the IRS doles out a $1000-per-kid Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to families regardless of immigration status. The result? Illegal aliens receive billions of taxpayer dollars each year, even if they haven’t paid any income tax themselves. (See IRS Child Tax Credit Factsheet, 2012)

In fact, the Inspector General for the U.S. Treasury Department released a report last year revealing that illegal aliens annually received $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits, primarily through the ACTC. (See IG Report, July 2011) Illegal aliens claim the ACTC by using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), which the IRS grants to them regardless of legal status.

On Tuesday, Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) requested their legislation (S. 577) to fix this problem be considered and passed on the Senate Floor. (Watch the debate here.) S. 577 would close this loophole by requiring that individuals who claim the ACTC provide a valid Social Security Number—something illegal aliens aren’t lawfully able to obtain. (See S. 577 § 2)

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objected to their request, insisting on stubbornly standing in the way of this needed solution. Sen. Reid attempted to justify his dismissal of the legislation by claiming S. 577 targets children who were born in the United States to illegal alien parents. (The Hill, May 22, 2012)

This legislation presents a common-sense solution to what is currently a grave injustice to hardworking American taxpayers, and a huge financial drain on U.S. revenue. Members of the House of Representatives agree, and have already passed similar companion legislation. (See H.R. 5652 § 611)

In doing so, Sen. Reid perpetuates the message that the U.S. government is perfectly happy to give hand-outs to anyone who dares to enter the U.S. illegally. Even if it’s on the backs of financially-strained American families.