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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)

Irs, SSN, DMV, should have a web-site for employeers to verefy any documents presented before applying,hiring,requesting, benefits to be granted to legal citizen's. Criminal institutions who steal SS,DMV,IRS, information sale the information to illegal/undocumented peoples, and can also make fake Driving Licenses Cards,Social Security Cards, IRS Legal Working Documents, Identification theft is everywhere and the SS office, IRS office, DMV office, EDD offices, none want to help even thought they know the ID's and SS #'s are stolen? Government should create a method and enforce mandate by federal law for organizations to check before giving,offering,issuing any benefits comming to the proper citizen's of the USA? Matching the SS #'s DMV #'s, IRS #information should be verefied with informations at these government offices. The naked eye and double checking names and addresses is not enough and is open to many errors and closed eyes mistakes, purposly or unpursposely, the federal government law is not enough protection for all the legal citizen's.....Mandate the Private Businesses to verefy with Government matching information??????Electronically we are so advance, i can not believe these recommendations and protections have not been implemented?

the children are citizens. why isn't he equally concerned about corporate welfare?

"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.”

Dammit Christensen, They're "illegals' not your PC term "undocumented".
They're not even supposed to BE here let alone costing L.A county taxpayers a BILLION dollars a year!
Remember that name voters, "Christensen"

Wow. I notice how the L.A. Times aren't printing any comments from this. I guess the article is too politically sensitive, right?

Wow... thank you Teresa Watanabe for this article. A rare and honest insight of one of the many issues negatively affecting our community that no one chooses to speak on. Amend the 14th Amendment.

A constitutional amendment is in some situations the solution of old problems.
Children who were born in this country and were growing up under the American culture are American Citizens.They feel American and they speak the language of this country in some situations they are also bilinguals.
It depends always of the interest of the parents or caregivers.
The question now is how they feel the ones who are not able to feel this American feeling although they were born in American soil.
I am not a Politician I am not a child but I could imagine that to be born is in some situations not the own decision, is in 99,9% of the times the decision almost from the mother.
I wish for our Lawmakers the best and the most smart decision to keep safe our population.

Bring on the racist comments.

There is no necessity for changing the constitution. The 14th amendment is quite clear on who is entitled to be a citizen by birth and it does NOT include anyone born to a foreigner - legal or illegal. It is by the willful misinterpretation of that amendment that we are stuck with all these anchor babies. So why are we providing benefits for criminal invaders at all? If illegals had no housing, no jobs, no welfare, no medical, no education for their children - in short none on the freebies that they rob the tax payers of daily - they would self deport so quickly it would make our heads spin. Anyone for actually enforcing the laws we already have? Anyone? Anyone?

OK here we go ALL the 'crazies' are going to come OUT of the woodwork and SCREAM about this one. For once I am also worried. Why is this 'increase' necessary ? Who authorized it ? The FACTS need to be KNOWN before all the IDOTS begin to SHOUT !

This news is not surprising. California is bankrupt. Yet, LA County alone will spend $600 million for food stamps and welfare, $550 million in jail costs, and $500 million for healthcare? This is repulsive.

And people wonder why L.A. has turned into a toilet? Let's go Graham (and anyone else with guts in politics)...nobody else will do it....start denying these anchor babies U.S. citizenship.....and start deporting this drain on our society.
For those who feel this is cruel....take your garbage to Mexico and change THEIR policies......having just returned from Mexico, I know they take their Southern border seriously and deal swiftly and harshly with Central American illegals.....time for us to do the same.

This is sad.. However someone needs to also review the amount of fraud that is going into the care at home program. This is a joke...People are collecting money per month, claiming they are caretakers of family members, etc.. They collect money, food stamps..As well ths money going to fraud claims could be used for people who have their electric turned off, gas turned off and water turned off.. This is a health issue... BOARD OF HEALTH issue..

When so many USA citizens are out of work why are we supporting illigal children????we need to fcus on help for citizens od usa if the illigals were not bleeding the system dry maybe we could take care of our citizens..it is ridicilus to aid illigals while us citizens go without who can disagree with this?? send them back to there home countries..they have no respect for our values feel entilted march and disrupt are roads do they not realize they are here ILLIGALLY

Screw that, what this means to us is more tax increases. I'm struggling to pay for my own kids college expenses and I still have to pay for B S like this. If LA is considered a sanctuary city then make all the people that want it that way pay for it. Like the other citizens who support it, the Mayor, Boxer, Feinstein, the Governator etc... I don't support sanctuary cities and I don't want to pay for it. Somebody needs to start a petition and/or draft a bill to do away with them. I'm sick and tired of paying for this kind of crap. It's still a federal crime to be in this country illegally and we need to start enforcing these laws. The laws they feel are politically correct they enforce the others they don't. Whats up with this selective enforcement B S. If I was in a foreign country without papers I would either be deported or locked up. Get with it people!!!

wow thats sad , you have to blame the kids for parents mistake, just tax the illegals , people that are here illegally should be taxed give them a special social sec number to identify them than tax them economy will grow illegals will work and pay taxes like everyone else.

Who cares, like Obama says, it's only other people's money. Let someone else's grandkids pay it all off! Socialism ROCKS!

Cowards are rallying against to oppose to recognize this problem that has caused tax-paying people millions year after year to support the illegals and their offspring.

I've been out work for a while, yet I don't qualify for for food stamps because I am a citizen, go figure?

The illegal aliens are costing the city and it's taxpayers a lot of money. Who didn't already know this? Force them all back to Mexico. The suggestion of amnesty by some is completely insane.

How about helping the LEGAL citizens of this country. Make food stamp benefits easier for people on unemployment. I have been out of work for six months and make too much money to qualify. I have to depend upon the kindness of family and friends to eat as I don't make enough money on unemployment. As far as the illegals are concerned with anchor babies, give them cash and food stamps for that child only. They have jobs and don't pay taxes and then send all their money to Mexico! What is wrong with this picture? Our legislators need to wake up and fix these problems. We should be taking care of our own first!

That's $1.1 billion. What do we do when it hits $2 billion? Is it right that I pay taxes so my libraries, schools and hospitals are overwhelmed with kids born to alien parents that shouldn't be here? I want kds educated to be good citizens, and treated for good health, but what is our responsibility to care for kids of foreign nationals here illegally?

Who knew??? Shocking!!!

I am atonished at this news. It will never cease to amaze me that the taxpayers money is taken and allocated like this. IT IS JUST CRAP. And all of the lawmakers are CRAP. A country that is supposed to be a world power and run by "WHITE AMERICA" has basically just succumbed to these idiot mexicans. I understand that America has a lot of immigrants but it is mostly mexicans. Obviously the mexicans are now smarter than White America because they have found a way to beat out system. They have 5 or 6 different names, their wives have different names. The wives are on welfare while the men do TAX FREE DAY WORK. AND THEY HAVE THEIR BABIES ON US, THEIR FOOD, HOUSING, WIC AND MEDICAL IS ALL ON US. Imagine that. A nation, a world POWER and we have let the mexican out smart us and mexicans aren't smarter than anybody. As a matter of fact they are too stupid to put toilet paper in the "toilet". They come here, break our immigration laws and expect to get all of the benefits they want. When we "Americans", born here can't get anything free. We cannot eve get a job because all of the illegals have them. NO COUNTRY THAT I KNOW WOULD ALLOW ANOTHER COUNTRY TO INVADE THEIR COUNTRY AND BASICALLY JUST TAKE OVER. BUT THE WEAK, JELLY-BACKED WHITE BOYS CAN'T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EFFECT THEM. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A WORLD POWER, BUT RATHER A BUNCH OF CHUMPS AND COWARDS. LET THE F--KING mexicans GO TO INDIA OR KOREA AND START DEMANDING MONEY, ETC AND SEE WHAT THEY GET. BUT WE BUCKLE AND LOOK WHAT IT HAS DONE TO OUR COUNTRY. WHAT OTHER COUNTRY WOULD ALLOW ALL OF THE JOBS TO TO BE TAKEN BY PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT EVENBORN IN THAT COUNTRY. THE mexicans HAVE SET THIS COUNTRY BACK 75 YEARS. WITH THAT STUPID LANGUAGE THEY SPEAK AND THE WAVE THAT DAMN FLAG OF THEIRS. I SAY IF YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY SO MUCH GO BACK AND TAKE ABOUT 30 MILLION OF YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WITH YOU. THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE TO GIVE YOU THEIR CORRECT NAME AND THEY CAN WALK INTO ANY HOSPITAL IN THIS COUNTRY AND GET FREE MEDICAL ATTENTION. I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN ..... BORN IN THIS CRAPPY COUNTRY FULL OF CRAPPY LYING POLITICIANS AFRAID OF THEIR OWN SHADOWS AND I CANNOT GET FREE MEDICAL. "WHITE AMERICA" let those illerate monkeys outsmart them. TOO BAD!!!!!!!

I can't wait for this topic to spool up with whinny, runny-nose, sniveling; "oh, BUT they're just CHILDREN... they didn't do anything wrong... etc., etc., etc., blah, blah liberal bleeding heart socialist-emo comment!
Let's not even bring Section 8 federally subsidized housing into this mix, A.K.A., the Mexican national health-care/welfare 'plan'. It works kinda’ like this:
Embarazadas Mexicana (pregnant Mexican), 8 months, 28 days ripe waddles/floats/scrambles across the river/border; grabs a cab; first stop ANY nearby American hospital; pop out beibi/sustantivo's (MORE than one); (enter the social welfare agency): "God forbid, we can't have brand spanking new Amexican-by-default beibi/sustantivo's living in the streets..."(agency gives referral to); predominately Hispanic staffed housing authority; predominately Hispanic staffed housing authority bumps (NOW) Madre Mexicanos ilegales (ILLEGAL Mexican mother) and beibi/sustantivo's tribe to the top of the wait list (in violation of Sec. 8 HUD rules), ahead of elderly and crippled Amerikan CITIZENS (who wait YEARS for such Sec. 8 vouchers); hands Madre Mexicanos ilegales her expedited housing voucher; Madre Mexicana settles in, uses welfare grants to decorate apartamento, uses cupones de alimentos (food stamps) to stock up the 'fridge, uses welfare paid cell phone to call la familia, and la bola (misc. other friends) in Mexico, lets them know the new crash pad is ready and waiting their illegal arrivals (PLURAL); One more 2 bedroom, 2 bath TAXPAYER PAID apartamento falls conquered to the Mexican health-care/welfare invasion... "viva la fiesta"..."viva la revolución".
“God bless Amerika… huh?

$52 million just for July? That's frightening. I'm surprised there are no comments on this. I tried to post one earlier but it did not show up. Are comments being rejected?

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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