Illegal Aliens are the root of CA problems – Transcripts
California like many other states is dealing with the harsh realities of our economic crisis. The state is proposing deep cuts in education, health care, law enforcement to help reduce that deficit, as we reported to you here yesterday. A major cause of California’s budget crisis is the federal government’s failure to secure our borders and to enforce immigration law.

Casey Wian has our report.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger blames a drop in revenue from the sub prime mortgage and housing meltdowns for the state’s $14.5 billion projected budget deficit next year.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: It’s terrible to take money away from education and it is terrible to take money away from law enforcement and it is terrible to take money away from prisons and from health care, all of those things. But you can’t give people more money than you have.

WIAN: Another reason the Golden State doesn’t have enough money is on the other side of the balance sheet, massive spending on social services for illegal aliens totaling tens of billions of dollars, according to a December Congressional Budget Office study. California has about a quarter of the nation’s estimated 12-plus million illegal aliens. They account for 27 percent of the state’s population without health insurance. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, that cost taxpayers $1.4 billion in 2004. The group, which opposes illegal immigration and promotes border security estimates California spends another 1.4 billion on law enforcement for criminal illegal aliens.

FAIR says education is the largest expenditure, costing the state $7.7 billion. The Center for Immigration Studies, which supports a lower immigration policy, estimate 13 percent of California public school students are illegal aliens or their children.

STEVEN CAMAROTA, CTR. FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: California has other problems, not just illegal immigration, but illegal immigration is clearly a significant drain on the state budget. Illegal aliens do pay taxes, just not enough to come close to covering the education and health care and infrastructure costs associated with them.

WIAN: The Congressional Budget Office study concurs, finding the tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total costs of services provided to those immigrants.

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