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Trump administration sued for denying stimulus checks

The Trump administration is targeted in a lawsuit saying the CARES Act discriminates against more than 1 million Americans by denying $1,200 stimulus payments to those married to immigrants without Social Security numbers.

The lawsuit was filed on April 24 by an Illinois man, known only as John Doe, who claims to represent other families affected by the same restrictions under the stimulus package. The plaintiff says the rules discriminate against him and others because of the people they chose to marry.

Stimulus rules include requirements for married couples

Congress approved the CARES Act in March, offering $1,200 payments to American taxpayers earning up to $75,000 a year. Families can receive an additional $500 for each child. However, to be eligible, both spouses for families that file joint income tax returns must have Social Security numbers, unless one of the spouses is in the military.

The Migration Policy Institute says 1.2 million Americans are married to so-called "unauthorized" spouses, leaving them ineligible for stimulus payments. That number was cited in the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago.

Immigrant spouses do pay taxes

While his spouse does not have a Social Security number, John Doe says his wife pays taxes and files tax returns through an IRS-issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

The lawsuit names President Trump, Acting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as defendants. The lawsuit says they approved the exclusion, and in doing so, are denying the rights of John Doe and other American citizens.

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