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Messer op-ed: Tax reform and immigration policy – time for a return to common sense

Most Americans get it: We can’t continue to reward people who come to our country illegally, while those who work hard and play by the rules struggle to get ahead. What our tax and immigration policies need is a return to common sense.

Take our tax credit system. Right now, billions of dollars in refundable tax credits are being paid out to illegal immigrants. That’s because of a loophole in the Child Tax Credit program that allows this benefit to be claimed without a Social Security Number.

The cost of this broken policy has fallen squarely on the shoulders of the people it’s designed to help – hardworking American families. And the numbers are astounding.

A U.S. Treasury Inspector General report estimated that up to $7.1 billion was being paid out each year to illegal immigrants and individuals illegally claiming children through the Child Tax Credit. For context, that’s equivalent to the State of Indiana’s entire annual budget for K-12 education.

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