COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Congressional relief in the form of stimulus checks is coming for American citizens, just not all of them.
President Donald Trump signed the bill on Sunday, which expanded the eligibility for the checks to people whose spouse or parent is undocumented.
However, if both parents are undocumented, no relief checks will be going to those U.S. citizen children.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates there are 19,000 such children in South Carolina, with 2,169,000 children nationwide.
In Charleston, one of those children is Helen Casas, whose mother Karen Guerrero is undocumented while her father isn’t in the picture.
Guerrero spoke with WIS on Monday through a translator from the SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, immigration policy attorney Louise Pocock.
She said like many, the economic consequences of the pandemic have made her situation worse.
“There’s no way to escape thinking about money, right? Every day she wonders is she going to be able to pay the rent at the end of the month,” Guerrero said through the translator.
Guerrero said Helen is less than two years old but has big dreams for her in the United States.
“She says she hopes she can grow up to be happy, and achieve whatever goals that she wants or including going to university like her mom was able to do in Venezuela,” Pocock said on Guerrero’s behalf.
Guerrero said she does not have a social security number, and Helen’s father is not in the picture, meaning Helen will not receive the federal aid.
Guerrero said $600 will not solve all her family’s problems, but it would help with rent and provide peace of mind.
“The U.S. Government should want to help all U.S. citizens, regardless of who their parents are, to her it’s something that the politicians have made into a political issue,” Pocock said on her behalf.
Republican Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham did not return a request for comment, nor Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia).