California No Public Benefits for Undocumented Residents (2010)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The proposition would have denied public benefits to certain US Citizens and to Californian residents who do not have proof of legal residence. It would have denied welfare benefits to approximately 100,000 U.S.-born children of undocumented parents who, if they were not in the country illegally, would have qualified for public assistance. As a result, some referred to it as the Birth-Certificate Proposition.
It was estimated in 2009 that there were 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.. California's budget crisis of 2009 was said to have fuelled interest in denying public aid to illegal residents.
Ballot title: Denial of Public Benefits for Persons Who Cannot Verify Lawful Presence. Eliminates Benefits for Certain Children in CalWORKS Program. Initiative Statute.
Official summary: Requires applicants for state, local, and stateadministered federal aid to verify lawful presence in United States. Requires applications for public benefits submitted by undocumented parents on behalf of their lawful-resident children to be given to federal authorities. Eliminates benefits for children in CalWORKS cases where neither parent is eligible for benefits.
Estimated fiscal impact: If upheld in the courts, unknown significant one-time and ongoing costs to state and local governments due to changes in the application process for public benefits, as well as unknown but likely significant savings from decreased use of public benefits. Unknown, but probably minor, state and local law enforcement costs due to provisions in the measure creating new crimes, such as for the filing of false affidavits to obtain public benefits. If upheld in the courts, state savings of over $1 billion annually from prohibiting child-only CalWORKs cases, partially offset by state and county costs for children who shifted to Foster Care or county general assistance programs. Further unknown, but likely significant, savings from the provisions changing the application processes for public benefits.
The official proponents were Ted Hilton, Bill Morrow, Bill Siler, and Tony Dolz.
The editorial board of the Monterey County Herald wrote on July 17, 2009 that the initiative should be blocked by a California court before going on the ballot because:
- "It almost seems designed to create harmful, even hateful, debate without accomplishing a thing."
- A federal court nullified California Proposition 187 (1994) on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution exclusively assigns immigration laws to the federal government, and there is no reason to think that the same thing wouldn't happen to this initiative, if it is approved by voters.
- Text of October 14, 2009 letter requesting a ballot title
- Taxpayer Revolution, website of supporters
- Los Angeles Times, "Illegal immigrants again in the budget spotlight," July 10, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Immigration debacle," July 15, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Where do you stand on the proposed ballot initiative to end state benefits for illegal immigrants?," July 13, 2009
- Merced Sun-Star, "Monterey County Herald: Court should block anti-immigrant move," July 17, 2009