Skip to comments.CA: Legislators seek to cut benefits to illegal immigrants .. DLs for illegals is back too
Posted on 05/03/2006 9:38:44 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO - Even as the national debate rages over illegal immigration, California legislators are weighing bills that take aim at the issue on fronts ranging from such public benefits as driver's licenses and in-state tuition rates to better investigation of the citizenship status of state prison inmates. Many of the bills are authored by Republican legislators looking to reduce public benefits to undocumented immigrants and investigate what they cost the state in resources and infrastructure.
One bill would eliminate in-state discounted tuition rates for undocumented immigrants to attend community colleges and the California State University system. Another would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency based on illegal immigration. And another would have the state do a more thorough job investigating the citizenship status of those in prison.
Democrats have opposed most of the efforts, and some are looking at expanding benefits for illegal immigrants, such as Sen. Gil Cedillo's effort to once again pass legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses.
Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Westlake Village, has authored the tuition bill, AB 2053, which would delete current law allowing students who have graduated after attending high school in California for at least three years to receive resident tuition rates, regardless of their legal residency.
Given the state's limited financial resources, she said, it needs to put priority on those who have legal residence first.
"I'm a teacher and I wholeheartedly support people getting an education to improve their lives and to get a better job," Strickland said. "But I believe that the privilege of state tuition should be solely available for those who are obeying the law and are legal residents of the state of California."
Democrats have opposed similar efforts in the past. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, opposes the Strickland bill.
Cedillo also opposes it and has proposed his own bill, SB 160, which would allow undocumented students who currently qualify for resident tuition rates to also qualify for scholarships, which they currently do not.
"We should be trying to nurture and develop the talent in California," Cedillo said. "We shouldn't be trying to send students out of California. (Denying in-state tuition rates) has had this effect of creating a brain drain in the past."
Cedillo also is trying again to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses. State law did allow that practice previously, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger persuaded the Legislature to repeal the law, saying he would agree to reauthorize it if security concerns are addressed.
Cedillo has twice persuaded the Legislature to pass the bill with language to address the security concerns, but Schwarzenegger vetoed both, still citing security and the need for more details to be worked out at the national level first.
The same bill is again working its way through the Legislature, and Schwarzenegger has not given any indication he has changed his position.
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, had proposed a bill earlier this year that would require the state corrections system to do a better job investigating the immigration status of prisoners.
Currently, the state does an inadequate job documenting which prisoners are illegal immigrants, and therefore has trouble obtaining federal funds meant to reimburse states for the costs of illegal immigration, Blakeslee said.
That would also allow the state to turn those prisoners over to the federal government for deportation after their sentences end, he added.
"The amount of money we get depends on how many individuals we identify," Blakeslee said. "We're identifying only a fraction of those felons who are in our criminal system. The bill would have been self-funding."
The bill was killed in the Public Safety Committee by Democrats, who cited legal concerns and said it was redundant because the state already had programs to identify illegal immigrants in the prisons.
Blakeslee is now hoping to persuade Schwarzenegger to put a similar version of his bill in effect through executive order.
I didn't say California belonged to Mexico.
I just said if the Mexicans want it we should give it to them.
As a lifetime Californian, I couldn't disagree with you more. You want us to give up everything we've worked for to satisfy the demands of a third world dump? RIDICULOUS!
How about if they invade Missouri by the millions? Do you want to give Missouri away too?
Just what is CA good for? We can raise all the fruits and veggies we need in FL. All CA seems to be good for is growing liberals and Hollyweirdos. Look at the pathetic bunch that represents CA in D.C....Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi, Waxman, Lantos, etc. I think there ought to be a constitutional amendment adopted that allows the rest of the USA to vote some of these messed-up states off the island, so to speak.
I heard at least 40% of illegal families have babies born here, but it could have been 60%. So that's 5 million - 7 million U.S. citizens on top of the existing 12 million.
Is your attitude what America is becoming? Just give up? Those who have lost their lives in defense of America must be rolling in their graves.
Well .. better late than never!!
I'd give Missouri away in a heartbeat. I'm not a native and hate it here.
I just think it would be great to see Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Meathead, The Greens, Ralph Nadar, Hollywood and others all gone from American politics in two seconds.
I assume you vote in Cali? I wish you had half the passion about dumping big leftists that you have about yelling at me online...
(Almost) lifetime Californian. One of my passions is working to "out" leftists/socialists.