Warner Signs Measure Denying Public Benefits to Illegal Aliens

Christina Bellantoni, Washington Times, Mar. 30

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner yesterday signed into law a measure that denies illegal aliens public benefits, including access to Medicaid, welfare and local health care services.

“I have signed this legislation into law but will ask the Latino Advisory Commission to study and monitor the legislation to ensure that it is fairly implemented and does not impose undue costs on local governments,” said Mr. Warner, a Democrat who is in his last year in office.

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Lawmakers and immigration experts have said there are an estimated 200,000 illegal aliens in Virginia, which has an estimated population of 7.4 million.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires state and local governments to verify the legal presence of those seeking nonemergency public benefits. It applies only to aliens 19 and older. Illegals of any age still will be eligible for emergency aid, such as immunizations and pregnancy tests.

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