UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: Davis, Legislature Strive to Offer Benefits
With its Democrat-dominated Legislature and immigrant-friendly governor, California is on a campaign "to restore state rights and benefits to immigrants who are in this country illegally," with the most recent effort being Gov. Gray Davis' approval of a budget provision that allows undocumented pregnant immigrants access to prenatal care, the Washington Times reports. Nine similar bills are pending in the Legislature, including one that "would give workers' compensation benefits to injured employees who are here illegally." Davis has also "deep-sixed what little was left of the controversial Proposition 187," which aimed to cut state and local government benefits to undocumented immigrants. Last month, the governor signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrant nursing home residents to enjoy public health benefits, which advocates deem increases "both fairness and public safety." However, Assemblyman Ken Maddox (R-Orange County), said, "I think there is a concerted effort to blur the line between those who are in the country legally and those here illegally. When we create an environment that says there is no difference between the two, we are making California more attractive at the expense of those who are here legally." Barbara Coe, co-author of 187, said, "The ultimate goal is to reconquer the Southwest and return it to Mexico. California would be the first to fall." However, Davis notes, "People of good will have found common ground, and they are moving the state forward. We have resolved a divisive wedge issue" (Elias, 8/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.