March 26, 1997 in Nation/World

California To Cut Off Illegal Immigrants

Associated Press
 

The state said Tuesday it plans to deny illegal immigrants access to 200 programs, ranging from rent assistance to licenses to sell alcoholic beverages.

However, officials said the state will continue coverage for at least some illegal immigrants in nine programs, including medical care for the elderly and infirm and sick children.

The administration of Gov. Pete Wilson says the cuts are mandated under the federal welfare law that President Clinton signed in August, which includes a provision requiring states to abolish state-funded benefit programs for illegal immigrants.

Wilson “asked us to reiterate the fact that he does indeed believe … that services are a magnet for illegal aliens to our state,” spokesman Sean Walsh said.

“But for humanitarian purposes, and to protect public safety and public health, we will seek some exemptions.”

It could be more than a year before any cuts begin.

The state has no idea how much money will be affected by the cuts because it doesn’t know how many illegals are getting the benefits, Walsh said.

Hospital emergency care for illegal immigrants is continued under the federal law.

Also not affected are programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the food stamp program and Medi-Cal, the health care program for the poor.

The Wilson administration plans to ask the Legislature to continue allowing illegal immigrants access to some other public programs, including Witness Assistance Program centers, rape crisis centers, Child Protective Service and a child immunization program.

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© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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