Today, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Representative Clay Higgins, author of H.R. 7991, to explain our opposition to the bill, which would have the effect of denying millions of U.S. citizen children access to the Child Tax Credit.

Excerpt from the letter:

For years, we have urged lawmakers to apply a “Is It Good for the Children?” test when considering legislation before Congress that impacts children. If the bill improves the best interests, well-being, and lives of children, we urge its support. If it harms or penalizes children, we urge its rejection. Therefore, since H.R. 7024 mitigates and reduces the “baby and child penalties” in the Child Tax Credit, we want to thank you for your vote in favor of that legislation. If passed by the Senate, it would improve the lives of children and reduce child poverty. However, for those same reasons, we also must express our opposition to H.R. 7991, as it would impose new “baby and child penalties” in the Child Tax Credit based on circumstances beyond the child’s control, which in this case is a child’s parents’ immigration status, and increase child poverty in the U.S. and Louisiana. That is not in the best interest of millions of U.S. citizen children, who need the same protection and support as other children to flourish and have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential. We oppose treating children as second-class citizens and subjecting them to economic hardship, and consequently, negative shortand long-term consequences because of the status or circumstances of their parents. In fact, for this reason, we believe it would violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Read the full letter here.