Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - The Costs of Gavin Newsom's "Sanctuary State" Policy

November 30, 2023

Governor Gavin Newsom posted on X in 2018 that California is a "sanctuary state" which believes in "the power of diversity." But given the heavy burden thrown on California taxpayers and the draining of public resources, it is hard to see why Newsom is so proud of his "sanctuary" policy. While citizens struggle to make ends meet, with a quarter of California residents saying they are "seriously considering" moving out of state due to affordability concerns, Newsom's administration is giving illegal aliens more taxpayer-funded handouts than ever before.

According to CalMatters, "California has opened up government programs to undocumented residents more than any other state — issuing driver's licenses, college scholarships, low-income tax credits, direct cash aid during the pandemic and now Medi-Cal health coverage. In 2025, California will be the first state to issue food stamps to undocumented immigrants."

Here are some of the government benefits illegal aliens enjoy in California:

  • During the pandemic, when Newsom's lockdown regime forced countless law-abiding business owners out of work, California doled out $75 million in taxpayer dollars to 150,000 illegal aliens.
  • The State of California set aside almost $100 million to pay "direct cash assistance" for illegal aliens who lost their jobs due to storms in 2022 and 2023.
  • California's Employment Development Department provides Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave benefits to illegal immigrants who apply. No social security number is required.
  • In-state tuition, financial aid, and institutional scholarships at California colleges and universities are available to illegal aliens.
  • While citizens faced with medical bills struggle to pay, California spends billions of dollars annually on healthcare for illegal aliens. More than a quarter million illegal aliens aged 50 and older received comprehensive taxpayer-funded Medi-Cal health insurance after Newsom signed legislation in July 2021. California will expand full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented adults ages 26 through 49 starting on January 1, 2024.

Additionally, Governor Newsom's sanctuary state policy strains government resources:

  • California public schools, which already deal with overcrowded classrooms and poor educational outcomes for students, are spending about $1.8 billion annually to accommodate the children of illegal immigrants.
    • In California, about 250,000 K-12 students – one in every eight students in the public education system – are undocumented, according to a 2020 report published by the California teacher's union CTA. In total, CTA reports that about 750,000 students in California are children of illegal aliens.
    • State and local funding totals $13,686 per student, on average, in California. Multiplied by 250,000 students, it costs Californians more than $3.4 billion per year to fund school for undocumented immigrants.
    • That $3.4 billion annual cost is only for K-12; it does not count the massive costs of nearly 100,000 illegal aliens enrolled in California's public colleges and universities, who are eligible for state-funded financial aid.
  • Already overcrowded emergency rooms in places like San Diego are dealing with a surge in illegal aliens who require extra services, forcing hospitals to take time away from their core duties. Hospitals report that most of the illegal aliens who show up at emergency rooms are not seriously ill or in need of immediate medical attention – which means they are unnecessarily taking scarce resources from people who are having actual medical emergencies.
  • Immigration detainees are straining already overcrowded California prisons.

But the true costs of California's "sanctuary state" policy are much more than financial. In conjunction with Biden's open border agenda, Newsom's sanctuary policy has cost innocent lives. One victim is Karen Ruiz, a 35-year-old mom who was murdered in Pacoima in 2021 in front of her 3-year-old child .

  • Herbert Nixon Flores, a 46-year-old criminal alien with an extensive criminal history, murdered Karen Ruiz in front of her child.
  • Flores was a career criminal from El Salvador who had violated immigration law and many other laws, including domestic violence, for almost 30 years.
  • Months before the murder, the LAPD arrested Flores for a domestic violence with injury charge. ICE attempted to deport Flores at that time, but the LAPD did not honor ICE's immigration detainer due to California's sanctuary policy. If the detainer was honored, Flores would have been sent back to El Salvador – and Karen Ruiz would still be alive today.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - The Costs of Gavin Newsom's "Sanctuary State" Policy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370898

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