California continues to entice more illegal aliens to the state by setting up many incentives like expanding welfare eligibility. Earlier this month, embattled Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a state budget on July 12 that opened the state’s health insurance program, Medi-Cal, to qualifying low-income illegal aliens 50-years-old and over.
Nearly 200,000 illegal aliens already have access to Medi-Cal. The state offered coverage to illegal aliens under the age of 19 in 2016 and expanded the coverage to all illegal aliens under the age of 26 in 2020, costing taxpayers $450 million annually. Now, California will have the most expansive coverage for illegal aliens in the country as an additional 250,000 will soon be eligible for the program.
Currently, Democrats in the California state legislature are pushing for the expansion of the state’s food stamp program to include all income-eligible Californians regardless of immigration status. The proposed expansion would cost California taxpayers $550 million a year, on top of the $25.3 billion a year they are already paying for services and benefits to illegal aliens, starting in 2023.
However, after negotiations with Gov. Newsom, the plan has been reduced in order to build up the program’s infrastructure to handle the influx of illegal alien enrollees should the bill pass. This plan would cost taxpayers $30 million annually and could be coupled with several other legislative actions to further expand access. The plan allows illegal alien households earning less than $4,500 a month to secure food stamps, making nearly 1 million illegal aliens eligible should the legislation pass.
According to a 2020 FAIR study, more than 4 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children live in California, and that number continues to grow. Currently, approximately 35,000 legal immigrants are on the state’s food stamp program.
Expanding such programs will certainly draw more illegal aliens to the state. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is approaching one million apprehensions of illegal border crossers so far this fiscal year and many more have evaded Border Patrol, entering the country unencumbered. These illegal aliens will likely flock to places like California which not only provide protections from immigration enforcement but also provide access to welfare and other programs.