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Rise in public benefits to children of illegal immigrants in L.A. County has supervisor 'very concerned'

Welfare payments to children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County increased in July to $52 million, prompting renewed calls from one county supervisor to rein in public benefits to such families.

The payments, made to illegal immigrants for their U.S. citizen children, included $30 million in food stamps and $22 million from the CalWORKS welfare program, according to Los Angeles County figures released Friday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The new figure represents an increase of $3.7 million from July 2009 and makes up 23% of all county welfare and food stamp assistance, according to county records.

Last year, welfare and food stamp issuances totaled nearly $570 million, an amount projected to exceed $600 million this year. In addition, county taxpayers spend $550 million in public safety -- mostly for jail costs -- and nearly $500 million for healthcare for illegal immigrants, Antonovich said.

“The supervisor is very concerned,” said Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell. “He believes we have an economic catastrophe on our hands.”

Shirley Christensen of the county Department of Public Social Services said the number of households with illegal immigrant parents and U.S. citizen children receiving welfare increased by 7% from January to June of this year.

“With the economy the way it is, a lot of people have had to avail themselves of programs they may not have needed before,” Christensen said. “Everyone is taking a hit, including undocumented immigrants.”

Amid continued economic gloom, debate has intensified over the public cost of providing benefits to illegal immigrants and their U.S. citizen children. In recent months, calls have grown for a constitutional amendment that would effectively deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, whose numbers have increased from 2.7 million in 2003 to 4 million in 2008, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

At present, U.S. citizenship is automatically granted to children born on U.S. soil. Last month, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced he might introduce a constitutional amendment to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. Antonovich and several legal scholars, however, argue that a federal statute is sufficient to change the law.

But even some immigration hawks are wary of such a move. Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based research organization that supports immigration restrictions, said ending birthright citizenship would hurt children for their parents' misdeeds, require new federal registration systems and create other problems. The ultimate solution, he said, is to continue driving down illegal immigration with tough enforcement.

-- Teresa Watanabe

Comments () | Archives (221)


But, but....I thought the we were always told that illegal immigration was a net benefit.

Who'da thought...

You are paying for your STUPIDITY! What else do you expect when you provide sanctuary for a large group of lawbreakers == their dependents will flock to your sanctuary and you will have to provide for their medical, financial, and social welfare.




"Illegal" means against the law. We should not be paying people to break the law. We should be deporting people that are here illegally.

That is all....

Illegals and their children (whether they are born here or not)...should NOT get any kind of public assistance!

These people came here illegally....brought or produced children here...they need to go back to their home country and work their benefit system.

The laws in this country regarding children born in this country need to be changed. If your mother is not a citizen..you are not a citizen. A baby should have the citizenship of their mother! No more "anchor babies".

Illegals and their children are breaking the financial back of this country. Schools, hospitals, welfare, section 8...and whatever other social program they seem to know about. Funny they know the system better than the citizens!

Sometimes it's the politicians who are the last to know. Remember what Prop 187 tried to do back in 1994? Then the voters voice was overturned. Look what has happened to L.A. since 1994? How are the L.A. City schools doing? How are the City's budget and finances? How are the streets you drive on? The sidewalks you walk on? How long has the street light in front of your house been broken? As long as the city feels it needs to take care of every person who steps foot into L.A., we will have problems. Welcome to the party very late Mr. Antnovich.

$52 million to the children of illegal immigrants is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS. It is way past due to cut the cord on these leeches.

Our country is falling apart because nobody respects our laws anymore. That's how it was when I lived in Mexico. I came here (legally) with my family 20 years ago because I wanted a better country and life, not because I wanted to make this country like the old one. I am a proud American, not a Mexican. I am so sick of these people making it sound like us Latinos all support these illegal aliens. We don't!
That is why I am supporting the Bonn Unlawful Immigration Reform Act (BUIRA) and I am supporting candidates that also support it because it solves a great many problems rapidly.

I don't want to live dodging bullets like they do in the old country by just bringing everyone from there to here. It is wrong and my compadres and comadres know it's wrong!
We can stop the madness and illegal immigration and do it humanely within 12 months and save taxpayers over billions of dollars per year, so we can better afford to send our kids to good schools and they can be blessed with this wonderful country. We should not be helping criminals tear it down like they are doing now. Illegal is illegal. We complain about the law breakers in our neigborhoods but then we say it is okay if our friend or relative breaks the law and comes here? That's not right and everybody knows its not right. If we do that, we are lying hypocrits and not good people. Just because nobody respects the law in Mexico does not mean they can come here and disrespect this country and my family and my friends. Illegal is illegal.
I hope everyone reads about the BUIRA here because I want law and order for us all to enjoy and be safe. I am tired of the law breakers taking control on the street and in the government.
New Immigration Bill Avoids Amnesty, http://xelanbonn.com/3540/new-immigration-bill-avoids-amnesty/


My parents worked for 3/hr minimum wage (2 jobs each) in 1986 when we came here LEGALLY from the Eastern European block. We never took any assistance from the government. It boils my blood to hear that these illegals who's children are born here get ANY assistance.

Go back to your own country of where you are a citizen and ask for help there for your American child!

Antonovich needs to worry about County business. Leave immigration issues to the Feds and start doing the job you were elected to do!

Keep taxing the L.A. County morons! When will people wake up?

this is where are taxes go... all hail villaraigosa and schwarzeneger... illegal immigrants in arizona dont worry about the sb1070...come here in californiya....we will feed you and take care of you...you don't need to be a citizens...illegal immigrants are well taken care here of in californiya...we will used up the taxes paid by the citizens...we will let them suffer and work more for the illegal immigrants sake

It should have been a concern a long time ago. Thanks for recognizing one of the problems that's help breaking the entire state.

Well, why would anyone in Los Angeles compalin about this? We as a city welcome and support those who are here illegally. The article does not indicate the amount of money spent at LAUSD on illegals?

I am shocked the L.A. Times printed this...we are after all a city and county that is boycotting AZ and its immigration laws as they try to reign in costs.

Where is the Catholic church? They are advocates for illegals. Is the Catholic church not putting their money where their mouth is at?

Come on down to LA!!! Sanctuary City!!! We're even boycotting Arizona who is trying to cut back on the same expenses!!! FREE MONEY!!!!!

Do you want to keep on footing the bill for these staggering costs? It's time to deport these people.

I'm sorry if these kids were born in this country, but we shouldn't be footing the bill for their entire family to live here illegally. California can barely afford to fund the people who are legal citizens!

Something really needs to change. Quickly.

What's new...nothing will get done with all those facts and figures...things will remain the same and folks like myself that went to College and make decent money will pay for all of them...keep spitting out the babies.

"$500 million for healthcare for illegal immigrants" ... Wow and my 74 year old mother who was born in the US and worked all of her life got declined health insurance at at 61 and has had to grovel, beg, and scrounge even when her Medicare kicked in for the medications she needs and just to pay for doctor visits when she is sick. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It's a damn disgrace.

Solution! DEPORT THE ILLEGAL PARENTS. Place the children in foster care and create job's in the process. This would most likely be a last resort as Hispanic folks are family oriented and would stop coming here if that were the case.

why can't they deport the parents? give the children a choice of either going with their parents or staying over here and sent to foster care ... they know very well the consequences of having kids here and the chances of being caught and deported...oh we don't catch illegal immigrants here we feed them

Tell me again illegal invaders are not leeching off the system via their anchor babies! This fraud must end!

$52 million for July ALONE? That is very worrisome.

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