LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Welfare and food stamp benefits totaling $153 million were issued to illegal immigrant parents for their native-born children during the first quarter of 2014, officials said Tuesday.
The total benefits distributed consisted of $56 million in CalWORKs payments and $97 million in CalFresh funds, with spending on on pace to surpass $600 million for the year, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
Supervisor Michael Antonovich told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO over 20 percent of county public welfare funds were spent on illegal immigrants.
“With $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million on healthcare – in addition to the hundreds of millions spent on education – the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers is nearly $2 billion dollars a year,” Antonovich said in a statement.
If accurate, the projected pace of $600 million in spending would equal the amount paid out to illegal alien parents in 2010.
Antonovich’s announcement coincided with the release of a UCLA study that found undocumented immigrants in California visit the doctor and emergency rooms significantly less often than U.S. citizens and documented immigrants.
Researchers found one in five U.S.-born adults visits the ER annually, compared with roughly one in 10 undocumented adults — approximately half the rate of U.S.-born residents.
The study also found that undocumented immigrants’ average number of doctor visits per year was lower: 2.3 for children and 1.7 for adults, compared with 2.8 doctor visits for U.S.-born children and 3.2 for adults.