Once again, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has gone to extraordinary lengths to reward illegal immigration and encourage illegal aliens to stay in the United States. On Wednesday, he announced that—due to the coronavirus pandemic—California will give $500 checks to 150,000 low-income illegal aliens. The cost to taxpayers will be $125 million.
This came a day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that illegal aliens will be eligible to receive $1,500 checks that the city will be handing out to its residents.
What Newsom and Garcetti are doing is illegal under federal law. In 1996 Congress passed a major welfare reform act. A crucial section of that law prohibits states and localities from giving public benefits to illegal aliens. And it remains in federal law today at 8 U.S.C. 1621: an illegal alien “is not eligible for any State or local public benefit.” Public benefit includes “any … benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of a State or local government….”
We stopped hoping that California would follow federal law a long time ago; these latest actions continue a pattern. As I wrote last July, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) was the first governor to sign a bill making free health care available to illegal aliens. The cost of providing those benefits to illegal aliens was a massive $98 million. That giveaway, too, violates federal law.
But now Newsom is providing millions of dollars in checks to illegal aliens while at the same time expecting the rest of the country to subsidize this spending. California officials are hoping that the federal government will reimburse 75% of the state’s coronavirus expenditures.
And Democrats in Congress are demanding that we federal taxpayers cough up the money. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) want the federal government to provide $150 billion to state and local governments to help absorb their coronavirus spending.
The audacity of handing unlawful checks to illegal aliens while demanding that the rest of us pay for it is breathtaking. Especially when red states have kept their spending under control and have not been handing checks to illegal aliens.
No state that is handing checks to illegal aliens, subsidizing free health care for illegal aliens, and offering sanctuary to illegal aliens – all in violation of federal law – deserves a penny of assistance from the rest of us taxpayers. Not to mention the fact that an unprecedented number of low-income Americans are unemployed. Those U.S. citizens shouldn’t have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs when the economy reopens. But Newsom and other California Democrats are encouraging the illegal aliens to remain.
You would think that California officials would put U.S. citizens first just once, during this time of national crisis. But you’d be wrong.
Kris W. Kobach is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020 and is the former secretary of state of Kansas. He is currently General Counsel for We Build the Wall. An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop President Obama’s 2012 DACA amnesty. During 2001-03, he was Attorney General John Ashcroft’s chief adviser on immigration law at the Department of Justice. His website is kriskobach.com.