Gigabytes of platitudes have spewn forth from the anti-immigration cabal in Congress about their self-proclaimed respect for foreign citizens who wait patiently in line and play by the rules. The law-abiding folks from other countries — those with work visas or green cards who pay U.S. taxes and those living abroad whose spouses are in the U.S. military — aren’t buying the blather.

In fact, despite the economic stimulus checks now being sent out, these benighted folks aren’t buying much of anything. That’s because Congress has denied them their rebate, even though they’ve paid U.S. taxes, by requiring a Social Security Number for every household member. The problem is that IRS gladly accepts tax payments from law-abiding foreign citizens and issues them a “taxpayer identification number” or “TIN” but the Social Security Administration (SSA) refuses to issue them a Social Security Number.

So, by Congressional decree and SSA fiat, these folks who “wait patiently” and “play by the rules” will be cheated out of the $1,200 rebate for a married couple and the $300 per-child rebate. Obviously, if they play by Congress’ rules, they’d better be patient because they’ll be waiting a very long time for that phantom rebate.