A Los Angeles-area woman sued President Donald Trump and his administration in federal court Wednesday, alleging that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act unfairly excludes her from receiving a stimulus check because her immigrant spouse lacks a Social Security number.
According to the proposed class-action suit, Jane Doe v. Donald J. Trump et al, the unidentified plaintiff — described as a United States citizen who earns less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income and whose children are also U.S. citizens — has no mechanism to appeal the government’s decision.
A message to a U.S. Department of the Treasury spokesperson was not immediately answered.
The plaintiff alleges that she is excluded from the government’s $2 trillion coronavirus financial relief package because CARES requires both spouses filing their taxes jointly to have Social Security numbers in order for any member of the family, including the qualifying children, to be eligible for the checks, according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.
The plaintiff stated that she files her taxes jointly with her immigrant spouse, who does not have a Social Security number and uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
“But for her spouse lacking a Social Security number, plaintiff Doe would have received a stimulus check for herself and her children under the CARES Act,” the lawsuit alleges. “Had plaintiff not been married to an immigrant with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, plaintiff and her children would have otherwise qualified for a stimulus check. There is no mechanism by which plaintiff can dispute the government’s decision to deny her a stimulus check.”
The complaint contends that the Trump administration has violated the woman’s constitutional rights, including the right to due process and equal protection under the law. She further contends that the government has not treated her as equal to other U.S. citizens “based solely on whom she chose to marry,” the suit states.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the CARES Act regulation which prohibits stimulus checks to the more than 1.2 million Americans married to immigrants who lack Social Security numbers is unconstitutional. It also seeks an injunction amending the act and stopping the defendants from enacting any new terms to the CARES Act, or any future legislation designed to provide economic stimulus to U.S. citizens, that excludes mixed immigration status families.