Proposed Ballot Initiative Seeks To Bar State From Providing Non-Federally Mandated Benefits to Undocumented Immigrants
A ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to deny non-federally mandated government benefits, including state-subsidized health and welfare benefits, to undocumented immigrants was submitted for review to the attorney general's office last week, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The initiative would:
- Prevent state and local governments from issuing taxpayer-funded assistance to undocumented immigrants if it is not mandated by federal law;
- Authorize any California resident to sue the state for providing non-federally mandated benefits to undocumented immigrants;
- Require state officials to exhaust all appeals if the new measure is passed by voters but is challenged in the courts (Drucker, Los Angeles Daily News, 8/14); and
- Restrict access to services such as prenatal care and would require state officials to report undocumented immigrants to authorities.
The initiative would not affect emergency care and primary education for children of undocumented immigrants.
Sen. Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) called the proposal "Son of 187" and said that supporters are anti-immigrant.
Assembly member Mark Wyland (R-Vista), who backs the ballot initiative, said, "We support legal immigration," adding, "What this is about is the law of the land. What distinguishes this country from most other societies that have existed is the law means something."
Former Sen. Dick Mountjoy (R-Monrovia), co-author of Proposition 187, said, "It's time that we control the outflow of money that is going to provide those that are illegally here in this country all of the benefits that they receive."
Supporters of the initiative hope to collect enough signatures to qualify it for the March 2006 statewide ballot (Los Angeles Daily News, 8/14).