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October 7, 2015

Ayotte Pressured by Immigration Advocates

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Immigrant rights advocates warned Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., that her amendment to offset an extension of unemployment insurance by eliminating child tax credits filed by undocumented workers would come back to haunt her if she seeks higher office.

“A senator, like Sen. Ayotte, who is looking at the future … even the proposal of this amendment is going to follow her everywhere,” said Lia Parada, legislative director for America’s Voice.

Parada pointed to Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee who lost the 2012 presidential election, and language he used in the GOP primary backing the idea of making the United States so inhospitable to illegal immigrants that they would self-deport. The move hurt Romney in the general election in competitive states with large Latino voters.

“Latino voters flatly rejected Mitt Romney’s self-deportation tragedy,” Parada said, adding that “any time Ayotte is mentioned and Latino voters brought up, this will follow her everywhere and will be damaging.”

Ayotte was in the mix to be the vice presidential candidate on the Romney ticket and has been mentioned as someone who could be on the ticket in 2016.

The junior New Hampshire senator dismissed the threat and was quick to point out that she voted for the Senate immigration overhaul.

She noted that she still wants to find a solution to the immigration issue, but she also wants to close what she argues is a loophole that has been abused.

“As someone who was one of the Republicans who supported the immigration reform, this is an appropriate fix of a tax refund that has been abused within our tax code,” Ayotte said.

She cited a 2011 Treasury Inspector General report finding billions in refundable tax credits going to people not qualified to receive them. The report recommended congressional action addressing the matter.

Her proposal would repeal and replace the $6.3 billion in military retiree benefits cuts and pay for a three-month extension of unemployment benefits by stopping a “scheme” that currently allows illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit that she argued currently costs taxpayers billions.

The amendment would require that those that claim the benefit have Social Security numbers, cutting out people who pay their taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers — including illegal immigrants who are parents to U.S. citizens.

Parada said that Ayotte’s amendment is the latest in a record the GOP is building on the immigration issue and it is contrary to a Republican National Committee effort, following the 2012 election, to try to reach out to the Hispanic community.

The Ayotte amendment comes after the House passed an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that would prohibit implementation of a White House 2012 order protecting from deportation young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, provided they met certain requirements, akin to the Dream Act legislation long sought by the Obama administration.

“This [Ayotte] amendment is incredibly damaging to the Republican brand,” Parada said. “First in the House we saw the Steve King amendment come up for a vote to deport Dreamers … now we have the Ayotte amendment that attacks working families and immigrant children.

“The tally is adding up,” Parada said.

The issue has also been taken up by Hispanic media, which has covered the amendment intensely. For example, Fernando Espuelas, who has a nationally broadcast radio talk show on Univision, wrote Sunday in the Huffington Post about the amendment, arguing that it would hurt the children of immigrants, many whom are American citizens.

“The idea that you would inflate taxes for millions of poor kids living on the margins in order to pay for unemployment insurance for laid-off workers sent out in the cold by Republican ideological intransigence is nothing short of an immoral act by a political party being slowly strangled by far-right radicals hell-bent on destroying the American social contract,” Espuelas wrote.

Parada said that there “are more than 4 million children in the U.S. that are children of undocumented immigrants — what is she going to say to them? It’s not just broad tax policy; it affects real working people. These children will be voters, and they are paying attention; they are as engaged as anyone.”

But other Republicans don’t agree that it would harm Ayotte, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who helped draft the Senate immigration bill.

“I’m not sure it’s that huge a deal,” McCain said, when asked if the amendment would follow Ayotte should she seek higher office.

“I am not particularly excited about the offset, but I’ll vote for it,” he said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also said that it would not be a problem.

“That’s just common sense that you would expect the benefits to accrue to people who are legally in the United States,” Moran said.

Comments (49)

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  1. newyorkroger

    Jan. 15, 2014
    5:33 a.m.

    Ayotte can either pander to the potential Latino voters or she can push forward with her amendment that reduces tax fraud and allows the government to help struggling U.S. families. The latter will do more to win her elections now and in the future.
    The premise of this article is that latinos are saying- “Give us free cash in the form of a child tax credit with no verification or you will lose your bid for higher office.”
    Ayotte needs to take that bet, stand her ground and the Democrats need to join her.

    • Interesting

      Jan. 15, 2014
      4:30 p.m.

      It seems that the advocates for illegal aliens are well-aware that illegal aliens are very dependent on welfare.

    • hector

      Jan. 28, 2014
      2:10 p.m.

      We might not, but were growing. Im sure that’s why Romney lost.

  2. Jan Vick

    Jan. 15, 2014
    7:58 a.m.

    That’s blackmail pure and simple. Ms. Ayotte should stick to her guns. I’m with her all the way.

  3. Joe Guzzardi

    Jan. 15, 2014
    10:22 a.m.

    New Hampshire Hispanic population: 3 percent; NH white population, 95
    percent, most of them mad at her for supporting Gang of 8. How exactly
    is she going to suffer with voters?

    • Lance Sjogren

      Jan. 16, 2014
      10:28 a.m.

      I sure hope that they do care enough about the issue to throw her out when she’s up for re-election.

  4. John Lee

    Jan. 15, 2014
    11:05 a.m.

    E_VERIFY in all states and adding a statute to the 14th amendment denying citizenship to children born here to illegal immigrant parents will open up employment opportunities for citizens and help stop this tax refund fraud. One other thing what the heck is American social contract?

    • hector

      Jan. 28, 2014
      2:08 p.m.

      yeah they tried that in Alabama. Do you know how citizens were quick to take on the farm, and slaughter jobs that the workers left? I’m sure that was great plan. What we need is reform, not prejudice, nonsense ideas.

  5. amberdru

    Jan. 15, 2014
    7:59 p.m.

    Not surprised.Putting the illegal wants of illegal aliens before citizens. E-Verify is free. It would remove millions of illegals from their jobs. Would the activists be defending illegal Canadians getting tax credits and keeping their jobs when Latino citizens were unemployed? I doubt it.

  6. Kara

    Jan. 15, 2014
    9:04 p.m.

    So, Parada believes American tax dollars should be redistributed to illegal alien felons who have NOT contributed to the system and only file income taxes in order to get back $ thousands in EITC child tax breaks, often filed fraudulently for kids in another country?

    At the expense of our vets?


    • Susy McMillen Ring

      Jan. 22, 2014
      12:02 p.m.

      I heartily concur. Illegals are taking credits ILLEGALLY and hurting those who fought for their freedom HERE! Outrageous

    • hector

      Jan. 28, 2014
      2:05 p.m.

      wrong, only legal residents can claim the EITC. please do you research, before going with your blah blah

        • hector

          Jan. 28, 2014
          5:55 p.m.

          You are still wrong. EITC is the not the Child Tax credit, plus that source is from the year 2000.

          and yes you are right, why did you open your mouth?
          Idiots should not shoot their mouths off before doing their homework.


          • Kara

            Jan. 28, 2014
            6:10 p.m.

            I’m right on both counts. They get taxpayer funded refunds from both EITC and other child tax credits.

          • hector

            Jan. 28, 2014
            6:35 p.m.

            What part of have valid SSN don’t you understand?

            To qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, you, and your spouse if married and filing a joint return, must meet all of the following rules:
            Have a Social Security Number that is valid for employment
            Have earned income from working for someone, running or owning a business or farm or another source
            Cannot file as married filing separate
            Must be:
            a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year or
            a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien, file a joint return and choose to be treated as a resident alien (for more information on making this choice, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens)
            Cannot be the qualifying child of another person
            Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (related to foreign earned income)
            Your Adjusted Gross Income and earned income must meet the limits shown on the Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates Page
            Your investment income must meet or be less than the amount listed on the Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates Page

          • hector

            Jan. 28, 2014
            6:48 p.m.

            To add to this, those “illegal” as you refer to them pay their share of Social security and Medicare Taxes, so I don’t know what you and this Senator and complaining about.

  7. Barb3000

    Jan. 16, 2014
    1:08 a.m.

    I guess these organizations that support illegal aliens think they can threaten a US Senator and order her to do what they want or they won’t vote for her? Give me a break. All I can say to her is ignore the nut cases and do the right thing. The legal citizens of these country will support her and vote for her.

    • hector

      Jan. 28, 2014
      2:02 p.m.

      No. They aren’t threatening, they are just letting her know. She can take how ever she likes. What’s going to happen is that all those children, will at some point be eligible to vote, they might not have a voice right now, but once they do, they will look back. That’s why the Repubs are so screwed up they distant themselves from the Latinos.

  8. Lance Sjogren

    Jan. 16, 2014
    10:28 a.m.

    She apparently doesn’t realize that she lost any credibility on immigration policy by supporting Chuck Schumer’s open-borders bill.

  9. Yours Truly

    Jan. 24, 2014
    4:02 a.m.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Senator. The credit should be for citizens or legal immigrants period……..and it should not be politicized. I’m not a Republican but sick and tired of being held hostage by special interest groups.

  10. nnvg213

    Jan. 28, 2014
    8:25 p.m.

    Humberto it don’t matter what explanation we give, they don’t have the pants to ask where is the Social Security and Medicare paid by illegal immigrants, by the way if they educate themselves, the IRS considered illegal immigrants legal residents that is why they have to pay taxes, so they are legal to pay taxes but not legal for to get a minimum of what they had already prepaid that is like everyone else federal and state taxes, social security & medicare too, where is this money, there should be enough money somewhere to cover the unemployment of the ones that really can’t work because 95% of the other US Citizens fraudulently don’t work and stay home watching TV and getting fatter and fatter, depression, etc., and then they don’t back to work because they act to get disability. Why this 95% don’t open a business picking tomatoes on a farm or cleaning toxic waste, etc. What I have been hearing so far is: keep illegal immigrants working like slaves to support the 95% of US Citizens that fraudulently stay home and that don’t want to work

    • hector

      Jan. 29, 2014
      11:32 a.m.

      It a shame that they always pick the people with no voice.

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