The California Catholic Conference (CCC) welcomes recognition given for essential workers yesterday when Governor Newsom signed a budget that includes a remedial inclusion to the California Earned Income Tax Credit program (Cal EITC).
The inclusion provides to undocumented workers with young children a portion of the benefit from CalEITC, available to other taxpayers in the State. The CalEITC is a bi-partisan tax credit program that helps working families who, despite working, fall below the poverty line. Unfortunately, the step taken by the legislature and governor falls short of providing these hard-working immigrant taxpayers the same benefit provided other Californians. The exclusion of undocumented taxpayers from the full benefit means resources that would have assisted working immigrant families are denied in order to benefit other programs in the State budget.
One out of ten workers in California is undocumented. Their labor – in agriculture, food distribution and service, elder care, child care and other sectors – goes unnoticed much of the time but the pandemic has brought to light how “essential” their work is.
Many groups have been advocating for many years to recognize the contributions made by these workers who contribute more than $180 billion per year to our economy by paying taxes with an Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). The actions taken by the leaders of State Government will be helpful but is still unfair to these essential workers and their families.
We also know that there is much more to do to buffer immigrant and low-income workers from the health and economic risks ahead. We look forward to continuing our work with State Legislators and the Governor’s office so that our tax system is fair as well as search for innovative ways to invest in families, health care, housing, job training and other support for working families.