In today’s acrimonious political environment even a touted immigration reform proposal has controversial provisions that are downright nasty. The immigration reform bill still going through the U.S. Congress has provisions that are inimical to California’s interests and will be harmful to many of the 2.6 million undocumented persons living in California. The latest individual to repeat these criticisms is California Governor Jerry Brown.
Brown called for faster approval of the reform measure. He also demanded that a provision that would delay citizenship for 10 or more years be removed from the legislation. That provision was a compromise to keep fiscal conservative support for the reform. It would mean that most immigrants would have to wait ten years to get citizenship, thus making them ineligible for programs such as Medicaid and food stamps. They’ll also be ineligible for the benefits of health care reform.
The effect will be that California may have to pick up the tab on those who don’t qualify for federally-funded programs. This will be an enormous burden for the state. Officials from Los Angeles County made a similar request recently. The tab last year for health services for illegal residents in California was over $600 million. But conservatives demanded the ten-year provision because it will keep the costs to food stamps and health programs from going up.
California has nearly one quarter of all undocumented aliens in the country. In the meantime, many residents of California need assistance under the current immigration laws. If you face an immediate immigration problem or need assistance to process a request or application you may take advantage of a confidential meeting with immigration counsel. In that meeting, you can have all of your questions answered and find out what kinds of options you may want to consider.
Source: Reuters, “California governor urges faster immigration reform,” Sharon Bernstein, May 14, 2013