Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The LA Times reports on the latest proposed spending cuts in California, part of an ongoing process aimed at closing a $20 billion budget gap following last year's shortfall of about three times this amount that, if not for the billions of dollars in Federal stimulus money, would have produced an even more disastrous outcome.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest proposals to close California's budget shortfall would end public assistance for most new legal immigrants, eliminating emergency cash, food and medical aid for those who don't yet qualify for federal welfare.Apparently, most legal immigrants are provided with a broad range of federal assistance after living in the U.S. for five years and, given the commitment of support from the U.S. families who sponsored them, this does seem to be a reasonable approach, however, it seems clear that a lot of people have become dependent on this aid.
The proposal would represent an about-face for the state. In 1996, Congress denied access to welfare for most legal immigrants who weren't citizens. California and other states established programs to fill the gap.
Now, officials say the state can't afford the price tag. Schwarzenegger's plan would save $304 million but leave tens of thousands of elderly, disabled and impoverished people with no safety net in a deep recession.
When families petition to bring relatives to the U.S., they are required to sign affidavits agreeing to support them financially for up to 10 years. But many of these families have fallen on hard times.
For the long-term viability of the state, it would sure be nice if they got to work on what they call at the Orange County Register, the $100,000 pension club.