L.A. County Welfare to Children of Illegal Immigrants Grows

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2010

Welfare payments to children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County increased in July to $52 million, prompting renewed calls from one county supervisor to rein in public benefits to such families.

The payments, made to illegal immigrants for their U.S. citizen children, included $30 million in food stamps and $22 million from the CalWorks welfare program, according to county figures released Friday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The new figure represents an increase of $3.7 million from July 2009 and makes up 23% of all county welfare and food stamp assistance, according to county records.

Last year, welfare and food stamp issuances totaled nearly $570 million, and the amount is projected to exceed $600 million this year. In addition, county taxpayers spend $550 million in public safety–mostly for jail costs–and nearly $500 million for healthcare for illegal immigrants, Antonovich said.

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Shirley Christensen of the county Department of Public Social Services said the number of households with illegal immigrant parents and U.S. citizen children receiving welfare increased by 7% from January to June of this year.

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