Schwarzenegger backs state services to immigrants
June 6, 2009
SACRAMENTO and#8212; Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’s “happy” illegal immigrants get state services and says they’re not to blame for California’s $24.3 billion budget gap.
Schwarzenegger, an immigrant himself, says the estimated $4 billion to $5 billion the state spends on illegal immigrants annually is a “small percentage” of the deficit.
The Republican governor told The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board on Friday that it’s easy to “scapegoat” illegal immigrants. But he says the state’s budget has a much deeper spending imbalance.
He noted the federal government requires California to provide emergency health care and education to illegal immigrants. And he says illegal immigrants often help pick the state’s crops and construct its buildings.