California Dems Want to Give Illegal Immigrants Government-funded Healthcare

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Posted: May 22, 2019 7:36 AM
California Dems Want to Give Illegal Immigrants Government-funded Healthcare

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool

California Democrats are pushing a measure that would give all adult illegal immigrants in the state government-funded healthcare—a plan that goes too far even for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

That’s not to say Newsom is completely against the idea. He wants roughly $98 million per year for low-income illegal immigrants between the ages of 19-25, but recognizes the state cannot afford to fund all adult illegal immigrants.

The state Assembly has a bill that would cover all immigrants in California living in the country illegally over the age of 19. But Newsom has balked at that plan because of its estimated $3.4 billion price.

“There’s 3.4 billion reasons why it is a challenge,” he said.

The state Senate wants to cover adults ages 19 to 25, plus seniors 65 and older. That bill’s sponsor, Sen. Maria Elana Durazo, scoffed at cost concerns, noting the state has a projected $21.5 billion budget surplus.

“When we have, you know, a good budget, then what’s the reason for not addressing it?” she said.

The Senate and Assembly will finalize their budget proposals this week before beginning negotiations with the governor. State law says a budget has to be passed by June 15 or lawmaker forfeit their pay. (Associated Press)

“They work in our hotels, they work picking the fruit and vegetables, they work as landscapers, they work in hospitals,” Durazo said. “I don’t think they should be treated differently from other Californians.”

If enacted, the measure would likely face a challenge from the Trump administration, which is considering a rule that would expand the deportation of immigrants who are dependent on public assistance benefits. 

The goal, according to the proposed Department of Homeland Security rule, is that “foreign nationals do not become dependent on public benefits for support.”