Posted on July 30, 2004

Californians Seek To Join Immigrant Accountability Suit

Craig Nelson, Project USA, Jul. 29

After hearing about it on the John and Ken Show, an influential Los Angeles talk radio program, over one hundred Californians have contacted Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement (FILE) seeking to join FILE’s legal effort to force the county to bill sponsors of legal immigrants for certain public health services the immigrants access.

The petition, Anderson v Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS), is asking a California Superior Court judge to order the mammoth agency to comply with a 1996 federal law that requires public service providers to seek reimbursement for the full cost of certain public benefits consumed by immigrants with sponsors.

The suit is structured in such a way that the county is faced with an important choice.

The county can agree to the plaintiffs’ demands, but that would mean asking for, and recording, the immigration status of public health consumers in L.A. County — something the county does not now do.

Or, the county can choose to fight the FILE suit, but that would mean using taxpayer money to defend a policy that flies in the face of federal law and arguably costs county taxpayers millions of dollars per year.

In other words, the county can begin collecting immigration data, and thereby remove the great obstacle to enforcing federal laws denying most public benefits to illegal aliens.

Or, the county can use taxpayer money to defend a policy that prevents sending bills to people who have already agreed to pay them, for services rendered to people with no legal right to use them, and, while the county shuts down clinics meant to serve Americans who need them, sticks taxpayers with the bill for a policy that infuriates them.

The county has chosen the second option. Judging by the number of Californians wishing to join the FILE suit, the county may have made a very unwise choice.


Los Angeles County is governed by a board of five supervisors, one of whom, a long-time race-identity activist named Gloria Molina, will strongly resist FILE’s efforts to compel compliance with federal immigration law.

During a July 13 meeting of the Board of Supervisors (video, Agenda item 32), Molina expressed opposition to allowing sheriff’s personnel to determine the immigration status of prisoners in the county jails. She justified her opposition by distinguishing between the “partnership” Los Angeles County has with U.S. immigration authorities and the more important “partnership” the county has with the public.

It is clear that Molina thinks of U.S. immigration authorities and “the public” as hostile and competing forces.

Gloria Molina is also a former head of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), a divisive race-identity organization funded by the Ford Foundation that has legally opposed FILE’s efforts in the past, and may be working behind the scenes to oppose FILE in Anderson v LACDHS.

Gloria Molina, MALDEF, and others seem intent on bringing about conflict. It is time for thoughtful Americans to reign in these destructive forces.

You can leave a message at Molina’s office telling her to stop resisting the enforcement of U.S. immigration law, and to stop opposing the collection of immigration data from consumers of public services.

Supervisor Gloria Molina

213 974 4111


Our [Latino] vote is going to be important. But I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, ‘I’m going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back!’

Gloria Molina

Los Angeles County Supervisor