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Proposed Budget Cuts To Affect Poor And Immigrant Families

Audio

Aired 1/11/11

In his first proposal for the new budget year, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown made a case for steep cuts to essential services that would affect poor Californians, including refugees and immigrants.

— San Diego, like the rest of California, will face severe cuts to social services if Gov. Brown’s proposed budget is approved

The budget plan would cut $1.5 billion from welfare, and $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.

Services for the developmentally disabled would also be trimmed by $750 million, and the University of California system would face a cut of $500 million, even though it’s already in the red.

California Immigrant Policy Center director, Reshma Shamasunder, said she’s especially concerned about the impact the budget cuts will have on poor and immigrant children in the state.

“For example, eliminating the vision benefit for children, increasing premiums, increasing co-payments -- these are all families that are already really stretched," said Shamasunder. "So to place this additional burden on them is going to be really, really difficult.”

Shamasunder added that the Governor’s proposal didn’t specifically target social services to immigrants or refugees. But she said these communities will ultimately be affected and should be encouraged to speak out about the proposed budget.

“Certainly with immigrants and refugees, there’s always a fear of using these programs because they’re afraid it might impact their immigration status," said Shamasunder.

"But I think (it is most important to speak) out in the coming months, that the governor and policy makers have to take into account the well-being of all Californians.”

Every day, hundreds of thousands of Californians rely on state and local programs for job training, childcare, and in-home support services. The budget proposal suggests deep cuts to welfare and Medi-Cal -- two important services for the poor.

Elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, states face especially challenging budget crises: Arizona has a $825 million gap while Texas is facing a a $27 billion shortfall.

Comments

Avatar for user 'ketrout'

ketrout | January 11, 2011 at 1:25 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

It is way past the time to cut ALL services to ILLEGAL ALIENS! It is the ILLEGAL ALIENS that have caused hospitals to close, jobs taken from LEGAL citizens and LEGAL immigrants, causing our schools to be over crowed, paying for the children s meals, giving them free day care and so much more.

We should round up each and every one of the ILLEGAL ALIENS here in California and deport their collective tail-ends back to their own country. The sooner the better!!!

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Avatar for user 'barb3000'

barb3000 | January 11, 2011 at 9:11 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

If all of the welfare cuts are made California just might lose a few hundred thousand freeloaders. A large portion of them might go back across the border where they belong.

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Avatar for user 'bb724'

bb724 | March 6, 2011 at 11:53 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

It's easy to demonize those we don't know, in this case the undocumented men, women and children who've come to the United States from other countries. We can label them freeloaders and illegal aliens, but it doesn't change the fact that they're human beings just like you and I are.

Before you tune out and assume I'm some wide-eyed idealist, let's reroute and point to logic.
The right to receive healthcare if you're sick, or the right of children to experience a healthy and stable living environment if possible (which some of these social welfare services help provide) are some of the basic rights of all humankind, not just Americans. I think it's safe to say that's covered in the Declaration of Independence. If you're so concerned about borders--and presumably about the notion of being (or not being) "American," then let's get to the bottom of this. I hate to quote this section of the Declaration, but there's no getting around it:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

All men. Not men who were born here in America (since, hey, our founding fathers weren't, of course). If your issues are with legality and taxes and the "fairness" of people receiving the benefits of services they haven't paid taxes on, don't forget that the Declaration of Independence is a document revered both for the beauty of its language and for the substantial significance of the ideas it communicates--ideas which are inherently linked to the notion of compassion. Compassion doesn't make one illogical. It makes one human.

Bask in it.

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