Illegal immigration in California front and center
With the silly season in full swing, candidates are taking sides in an effort to wrangle enough votes to get or stay in office. California is ripe with many contentious races and the home to the largest Tea Party organization and illegal immigration population.
California’s budget has wallowed in the red the past two years, many tie the root-cause to benefits doled out to illegal aliens. Gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, a Republican says he will put end to all taxpayer-funded services to undocumented immigrants, including denying their children public education and health care.
“We’re just out of money … and one of the reasons the state’s in trouble is because of illegal immigration,” said Poizner, who claimed California spends more than $10 billion annually on services for illegal immigrants, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I’m going to be the truth teller in this campaign. As governor I’m going to stop illegal immigration once and for all,” Poizner, said at the California State GOP convention.
The tough talk didn’t sit well within the Latino community. Univision, the largest Spanish language network, said Poizner’s statements were the beginning of “a frontal war against our community.”
The budgetary talk didn’t get any easier from Digger’s Realm. In a story written by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, LA County could expect to pay more than $1 billion per year on illegal immigrations and their children.
“This number does not even include the costs of education.”
“LA County spent $50 million in January alone for food stamps and other welfare services. That’s per month. Lets calculate this… 50 x 12, $600 million, then add in the $500 million for the health care and the $350 million for public safety,” Antonovich explained.
He goes on to explain these staggering numbers do not include public school education. “And that’s just public spending through the government, imagine the private costs people are paying in terms of higher insurance rates to cover all the illegal alien drivers without insurance who get in accidents or the expense people are paying due to being victims of identity theft when an illegal steals their identity to get a job or housing and the depression that occurs when you get a tax notice from the IRS for monies you didn’t earn.”
LA County reported in April 2007 that illegal aliens were receiving as much as $35 million per month in CalWorks and food stamps. By August of the next year the program was handing out more than $37 million per month. Now the numbers have reached $50 million a month in benefits to illegal immigrants.
“If you’ve been hearing that illegal aliens are leaving the United States, you’re being lied to. The numbers prove out the truth,” Antonovich said. “This is all fraudulent monies obtained by illegal aliens and if there is a mass amnesty passed for illegal aliens this number is surely to triple or quadruple.”
Antonovich anticipates the money paid out to illegal immigrants to continue their uphill climb ($3-$4 billion per year) if nothing is done about the masses migrating to Los Angeles.
“Of course people who live there are not thinking logically or thinking ahead. Many of them are sympathetic supporters of illegal aliens. If they thought parts of Los Angeles were bad now, wait until a tripling of public service users hit their county,” he said.
According to Supervisor Antonovich illegal aliens cost Americans around $9 billion a year in education expenses as reported in the 2004 statement from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. A report from the same group in 2005 entitled “‘Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red,’ put the national costs without including free-and-low cost lunches or English as a Second Language (ESL) at $28.6 billion per year.”
As California’s unemployment edges past the 12 percent mark and the budget operating in the red, politicians will have to make bold decisions when it comes to solving the budget and illegal immigration quagmire the state is staring down.