ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While many Americans are receiving their stimulus checks, there’s a group of people who don’t qualify. People need a social security number to receive a check, which disqualifies some immigrants.
While many immigrants are also taxpayers, some won’t be receiving a stimulus check. The law says you need a social security number on your tax return which some immigrants don’t have.
Michael Kelly is the co-founder of Rochester Refugee Sewing and Repair. This branch of the organization trains and employs refugees.
“They’re all legally allowed to work in the United States, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a social security number. They may have a green card, they may be here on a refugee visa, there are a number of different stages in the immigration process they could be in,” said Kelly of his workers.
Djifa Kothor is the executive director of Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services. He said the organization is also currently helping a few asylum seekers who are waiting on work permits. This means they can’t work or get a stimulus check right now.
“Especially now that they definitely can’t work they can’t get any kind of work they have expressed that, and now the courts have closed so there’s no hearing schedule, nothing,” said Kothor.
Kelly said his employees have been working hard to keep Rochester safe but sewing masks. He believes they deserve the same benefits.
“The fact that we would not support folks who are working to make the community better I think is insulting. We welcome people here because we believe that America is one of the best countries in the world to be and one of the best countries to raise a family and if that is in fact true, we should be able to support the people that are here.”
They said many people in the community have stepped up and donated food to the organization to help immigrants during this tough time.
Rochester Refugee has helped over 400 people make a life for their families in Rochester.