Monday, July 13, 2009

California Activists Push to End Benefits for Resident Aliens and Anchor Babies

From the Los Angeles Times, "Activists Push Ballot Initiative to End State Benefits for Illegal Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children":

In a stretch of desert just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, men and women in khakis and the colors of the American flag recently gathered at a border watch post they call Camp Vigilance and discussed their next offensive in the nation's immigration wars.

The target: Illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children who receive public benefits.

The plan: a California ballot initiative that would end public benefits for illegal immigrants, cut off welfare payments for their children and impose new rules for birth certificates.

"We will be out in full force to qualify this initiative," said Barbara Coe, who helped develop Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that would have ended benefits to illegal immigrants but was ruled unconstitutional. "Illegals and their children are costing the state billions of dollars. It's invasion by birth canal."

Supporters of the initiative, recently unveiled by San Diego political activist Ted Hilton, hope to challenge the citizenship of children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally.

The 14th Amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside." Backers of the initiative argue that illegal residents are not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States and that, as a result, their U.S.-born children should not be citizens ...

Peter Schey, a Los Angeles attorney who successfully challenged Proposition 187, said courts would almost certainly strike down the measure.

"This proposal . . . has no chance of surviving a constitutional challenge," he said. "It is plainly driven by racism and a desire to whip up xenophobia during difficult economic times for U.S. citizens."

Backers say, however, that they have carefully crafted the measure to avoid the legal pitfalls that doomed Proposition 187, which would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving any public social services, education and nonemergency medical care. Voters approved it, 59% to 41%, but a federal judge ruled that the measure unconstitutionally usurped federal jurisdiction over immigration.

This time, backers worked with attorneys who have helped craft successful efforts to curtail benefits in other states.

The new measure does not claim any state authority to regulate immigration, said Mike Hethmon, an attorney with the Washington-based Immigration Reform Law Institute who advised the initiative's authors. Instead, he said, it is based on federal authority delegated to the states to restrict access to benefits and verify applicants' eligibility.

Under the 1996 federal welfare reform law, illegal residents are barred from welfare, public housing, food assistance, unemployment aid and other federal benefits. California laws, however, allow illegal residents to receive some state and local benefits, including nonemergency medical care.

The initiative would require all applicants for public benefits to verify their legal status. And unlike Proposition 187, it would not attempt to curtail access to education.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that states could not bar illegal immigrant children from schools.
Arizona passed a similar measure, Proposition 200, in 2004. See, "Immigration Measure Taps Frustrations in Arizona." Also, "Anti-Immigration Initiative Takes Effect in Arizona."

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a legal challenge to the measure in 2007. See, "
Court Sides With Prop. 200 Backers."

Related: Victor Davis Hanson, "Accounting for California's Suicide," and Fox News,
"Pelosi Tells Illegal Immigrants That Work Site Raids are Un-American."


Dave said...

It's about bloody time.

Lets hope this is one time when "So goes California, so goes America" is actually true.


Rusty Walker said...

"The plan: a California ballot initiative that would end public benefits for ILLEGAL immigrants, cut off welfare payments for their children and impose new rules for birth certificates."

Pelosi is like Obama, caught in the ecstasy of an elected Democratic majority, where one feels infallible, and so, above the law. It is very simple, enforce the rule of law! Note to Democrats: this majority does not last forever in this free country of laws and elections when the new administration, with ALL the answers, fails.