Feds Should Reimburse California For Costs of Illegal Immigration


California senate candidates Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina don't agree on much when it comes to illegal immigration.

Boxer, a Democrat, opposed the controversial Arizona law that allowed police officers to investigate immigration status while enforcing other laws. Fiorina, a Republican, supported the law (while decrying the inflammatory rhetoric on both sides of the debate on the measure)

A recent Field Poll shows that Californians are just as divided as the Senate candidates. But there is a middle ground on which Golden Staters of all political leanings should be able to agree, including Mmes. Boxer and Fiorina.

That is, to entreat Congress to reimburse California and other border states for the cost of accommodating most of the nation’s illegal immigrants.

In an article last year for the Los Angeles Times, George Skelton estimated state and local government here in California collectively spends more than $5 billion a year on illegal immigrants and their families.

That includes government-provided education, taxpayer-funded health care (Medi-Cal), public welfare (CalWORKS) and other related expenses.

California would not be forced to bear the cost of illegal immigration if the federal government upheld its fundamental responsibility to secure the nation’s borders and encourage legal, as opposed to illegal, immigration.

Since Washington has all but abdicated that responsibility – even has gone to federal court to dissuade Arizona and other states from taking matters into their own hands – then the very least Congress can and should do is pay California and other border states for their trouble. 

While California boasts the nation’s largest foreign-born population, the immigration issue was not expected by most political observers to rear itself in the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina.

But it has, thanks to a decision by Judge Susan Bolton to block sections of a controversial Arizona law that authorized police officers to ascertain a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

Boxer came out strongly against the Arizona law and supported the Obama administration lawsuit that led to Judge Bolton’s injunction last week. She favors federal immigration reform that ultimately would provide amnesty for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants throughout the country.

Fiorina supported the Arizona law (while decrying the inflammatory rhetoric on both sides of the debate on the measure). She favors federal legislation to better secure the nation’s borders, while also creating a guest worker program.

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