Note that the IRS is following a 15-year-old opinion by the IRS Chief Counsel’s office. That opinion said that “a taxpayer may claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for a taxable year using a social security number (SSN) acquired in a later taxable year.” The IRS has reviewed this matter and stated that: “[W]e believe that the 2000 [opinion] is correct,” the commissioner added.
Note that the EITC may only be claimed for years in which the taxpayer filed a return.
Thus, President Obama is not rewarding illegal immigrants. If Congress disagrees with the 15-year-old opinion, it can pass legislation overriding it.