AUSTIN, Texas -- The federal government is being sued for denying stimulus checks to Americans married to undocumented immigrants.

A national civil rights group known as MALDEF filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of six American citizens, including a Fort Worth woman. They were denied coronavirus relief checks because they jointly filed previous tax returns with someone who uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. That's a way for immigrants without legal status to still pay federal taxes.

Americans married to immigrants say they've been unfairly targeted. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, told Capital Tonight he wasn’t aware of the provision in the legislation.

“No I wasn’t and I think it’s outrageous,” he said. “This is a taxpaying couple. One has a social security number. One does not.”

Doggett says he’s a sponsor of legislation to change the law to allow such couples to get stimulus money.

He also discussed his push to undo controversial business tax provisions in the CARES Act.

Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Rep. Doggett.