The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are set to expire in late 2017. It's up to Congress to renew the tax credits, and senators are trying to renew those efforts.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' analysis, based on the U.S. Census Bureau, IRS and Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis, at least eight million Latinos workers with 12 million children have claimed EITC during the 2013 tax year. Approximately 7 million Latino working families with children have claimed an average $1,400 in refunds through the CTC's low-income portion.

According to Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Congress currently has the opportunity to make the EITC and CTC permanent.

"Let's be clear, a vote against these important family credits is a vote to increase the taxes on millions of working families, plain and simple," Menendez said in a statement released on Nov. 30. "It has been recognized then and now, by Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative economists, as one of the most effective public policy tools against poverty, particularly childhood poverty."

The CBPP noted that if key provisions of the CTC and EITC expire at the end of 2017, then nearly 5 million Latino working families will lose an average of almost $1,000, each.

"That's why we all need to work together to fight for an EITC and CTC that pulls people out of poverty instead of pushing them back in," Menendez added, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee.

To further make his case, Menendez took part in a Spanish-language press call, with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), about the EITC and CTC on Tuesday morning. Menendez, who acknowledged that many tax credits recipients are Latinos -- including immigrant families, said the Republican Party's agenda during the ongoing negotiations has been to hurt immigrants. The senator said a final agreement should not include provisions against the Latino and immigrant community.

"I have seen and I have fought against these attacks for several years, both in public and in private, and now I'm doing everything possible to ensure that immigrants and all working families have access to the CTC and EITC. A vote against these important family credits is a vote to increase the taxes on millions of working immigrant families," Menendez said in a statement following the press call.

Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, deputy vice president of NCLR's Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, said the two tax credits rewards the hard work millions of American families provide. Martínez-De-Castro added that many families rely on either EITC or CTC to afford basic needs such as childcare and school supplies.

"It is great news that Congress may be extending these important antipoverty programs for working families but they should not do so on the backs of taxpaying immigrants also working hard to make ends meet," said NILC Executive Director Marielena Hincapié. "Taking away low-income immigrants' means to survive is an unnecessary and inappropriate solution. It is a direct attack on our communities."


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