David Farrell: Illegal immigrants don’t use public benefit programs? | TheUnion.com

David Farrell: Illegal immigrants don’t use public benefit programs?

In the April 3 issue of The Union Paul D. Hauck challenged an earlier letter to the editor, which addressed the cost of illegal immigration.

Mr. Hauck states that undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive almost all federal public benefits. He does not make any reference to state benefits. So are we expected to believe that illegal immigrants, the majority possessing a 10th grade education or less, along with minimal skills in English, can enter the country illegally, secure a job, housing, etc., without relying on public benefits?

Why do you suppose illegal immigration “facilitators” distribute guidebooks outlining how to apply for public assistance services? California publishes its own guidebook. Google “Immigrant Eligibility For Health Care and Public Benefits in California.”

There are numerous studies by both left-leaning and right-leaning centers/foundations, attempting to determine the actual cost of illegal immigration. Each “side” making assumptions that favors its position on the issue.

For California, I would focus on two items that would be difficult to dispute: the cost/impact of addressing the needs of undocumented children on our K-12 schools (est. $15.63 billion/year); and the cost/impact on our medical system (est. Medicaid $2.28 billion/year, and unreimbursed emergency room services (est. $1.3 billion/year).

David Farrell

Penn Valley

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