Father of 3: Stimulus check denied due to wife's citizenship status
Millions of United States citizens who qualify for stimulus payments are being denied checks because their parent or spouse is not a citizen.
Edder Mendoza says he has lived in Brooklyn his whole life. He also says that after being laid off from work at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he was looking forward to the much-needed stimulus payments he was going to get from the government for himself and his three young children who are all also citizens.
“Apparently we can't do that because I'm married to what they call an illegal immigrant,” said Mendoza.
He says his entire family is being denied the relief check because his wife is still in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
The Cares Act says a person can’t get a stimulus check without a social security number. Since Mendoza and his wife filed their taxes together, his entire family is being disqualified.
"I understand if they don't wanna help them but I have three children who are American citizens, including myself, a citizen, and they don't want to help us. This is discrimination against us citizens for making decisions of our lives,” said Mendoza.
This is why class action lawsuits have been filed against the government. However, immigration attorney Lymari Casta says legal action takes time.
"Sometimes they do ask for an injunction where they demand that the government stop doing this and they start issuing checks but these are complicated matters and it could take months before we see a decision,” said Casta.
Mendoza tells News 12 he’s hoping he and the rest of his community can get their checks soon. In the meantime, he is searching for a new job so he can continue working and supporting his family through the pandemic.