Supervisor Mike Antonovich offered the statistics, generated by the county’s Department of Public Social Services, to help make the case for enforcing the nation’s borders, establishing health care clinics on the border with Mexico and reimbursing local governments for unfunded state and federal mandates, according to his press deputy, Tony Bell.
The numbers show that more than $50 million in CalWORKS benefits and food stamps for January went to children born in the United States whose parents are in the country without documentation. This represents approximately 23 percent of the total benefits under the state welfare and food stamp programs, Antonovich said.
“When you add this to $350 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for health care, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year — not including the millions of dollars for education,” Antonovich said.
Shirley Christensen of the Department of Public Social Services said, “Our mission is to aid people who qualify and are eligible to receive benefits. We’re carrying out the laws, federal laws.”
Christensen emphasized that those receiving benefits were eligible for aid as U.S. citizens.
Christensen confirmed Antonovich’s figure
related to CalWORKS and food stamps.
The figures related to public safety and health care were calculated by the relevant county departments on an annual basis, according to Bell.