There are no hard figures, but a 2006 study estimated that about 272,000 illegal immigrants were living in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties. The Latino population in North County has skyrocketed since the 1990s, reaching more than 40 percent in Escondido and San Marcos. Of that number, we don’t really know how many are illegal immigrants because of what many think are goofy rules that prohibit inquiring as to the citizenship status of a student, a patient, or anyone receiving taxpayer funded services. Logic would suggest that we, as taxpayers, have every right to know whether a recipient of taxpayer money is a legal resident or a citizen. If they are, more power to them. Let’s help them out. If they are illegal . . . sorry, go back home, where you belong.
Many of the immigrants settle in our area to work in the hospitality, agriculture and construction industries. Those were among the industries most affected by the slumping economy, leaving many illegal immigrants out of steady employment in 2008.
Many who once held steady jobs in construction and other industries found themselves competing for fewer and fewer jobs as day laborers. Many have either returned home or are thinking seriously about it. With little or no work, there’s very little reason to stay here.
Efforts to fight the illegal immigration problem were dealt a setback in the Nov. 4 election, when Escondido voters ousted Ed Gallo, one of the council's most outspoken anti-illegal immigration voices.
Gallo lost his seat to Olga Diaz, a Latina Democrat who opposed many of the earlier proposals aimed at illegal immigrants.
Her win breaks the narrow majority held by those who were responsible for those efforts, council members Gallo, Marie Waldron and Sam Abed. The city was handed a legal victory in September when a federal judge allowed the city to continue impounding cars for 30 days if drivers are caught without a license.
The Escondido Police Department has seized nearly 10,000 vehicles in the last three years from unlicensed drivers, many of them at checkpoints, according to records provided by the city. In the same time period, Oceanside impounded 4,422 vehicles and Carlsbad impounded 705 vehicles.
In what some observers, including this one, think is more goofy logic, civil rights groups and many Latino activists say the checkpoints unfairly target illegal immigrants, who are ineligible for driver's licenses and are forced to drive illegally to work, to visit doctors, and on other necessary trips.
Huh? They are forced to drive illegally? They are here illegally? They are ineligible for driver’s licenses? Because they are illegals? Hello? Is anyone home?
We hear about the “violation of the rights of illegal aliens.” What rights? If they are not citizens or (legal) resident aliens, they have no rights! They are violators of the law!
Escondido has strictly enforced a state law that allows cities to impound cars for 30 days.
Civil rights attorneys sued the state and several municipalities, arguing that the impound policy amounted to an unconstitutional seizure of private property. The judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the law was necessary to protect the health and safety of Californians.
Not so long ago we had activists (and even some government cronies) arguing for the Right to a Driver’s License. A brilliant attorney who has successfully litigated many matters of this nature, Gary Kreep, of the United States Justice Foundation, points out:
Each state and territory that is part of the United States of America has adopted statutes, rules, and/or regulations governing the issuance of a driver’s license. It has been held that the so-called "right" to drive is
not, in reality, a right, but is subject to compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and/or regulations. To use the words of one court, it is a "privilege", not a "right".
Several states have enacted legislation denying drivers' licenses to illegal aliens. As one can imagine, those statutes have been challenged in Court.
TENNESSEE: The court held: “In any event, the State has shown the legislation furthers a compelling state interest by the least restrictive means. First, given their status, illegal aliens do not have a constitutional right to move freely about the country or the state.
Motion for Preliminary Injunction ... is DENIED."
GEORGIA: The case was brought by "an illegal alien residing in the State of Georgia." He alleged that Georgia State Law restricting issuance of drivers' licenses to illegal aliens violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
The court held: The Plaintiff's argument begins with the remarkable assumption that an illegal alien has the same fundamental rights as a citizen or lawful resident alien. Plaintiff is unable to cite any case law in support of this assumption. Their mere presence here is a violation of federal law. Illegal aliens are subject to immediate arrest and ultimate deportation. Regulation of the driving privilege is a quintessential example of the exercise of the police power of the state.
IOWA: On November 13, 2003, a class action suit was filed with four lead plaintiffs, using pseudonyms, alleging that the refusal of the State of Iowa to issue drivers' licenses to illegal aliens violated state and federal constitutions. The Polk County District Court granted the motion of the State of Iowa to dismiss the case and plaintiffs appealed. The decision was issued on February 18, 2005, in the Supreme Court of Iowa, Case No. 692NW2D812, captioned Sanchez, et al., v. State of Iowa.
The Court held: Denying drivers' licenses to the class of illegal aliens does not violate the equal protection clauses of the federal and state constitutions. Accordingly, we affirm the Judgment of the district court."
Thus, in the three states where the issue of the denying of drivers' licenses to illegal aliens has been litigated on the merits, the state laws involved have been upheld in each case.
INDIANA and ILLINOIS had argument based on procedural matters but those cases did not address the merits. So the jury is still out in these states, as it were.
CONCLUSION: Each time a statute restricting the rights of illegal aliens to have a driver’s license has been challenged on the merits, it has been upheld. The only two "successes" pointed to by supporters of the claimed right of illegal aliens to have drivers' licenses, were victories on procedural matters concerning how the regulations barring the issuance of the drivers' licenses were promulgated, not the merits of the laws.
In conclusion, it appears, at least so far, all courts ruling on the merits of the matter have ruled that it is legal to bar illegal aliens from obtaining drivers' licenses.
Well, hooray for common sense! Sometimes it works.
The Economic Impact on Schools of Illegal Aliens
The school sytem in North San Diego County also shows a substantial drain on taxpayer funds. In a study conducted by Cal State San Marcos from 2003-2004, it was shown that the 2003-2004 Enrollment was a near majority of Latino students.
Along the 78-corridor in North County, there are seven school districts with 110 schools and nearly 50,000 students. As of the 2003-2004 CSUSM Study, the School Districts showed the following percentages of Latino students:
Escondido Union Elem. 59.2%
Oceanside Unified 50.3%
San Marcos Unified 48.3%
Vista Unified SD 45.3%
Escondido Union High 44.6%
San Pasqual Union Elem. 29.8%
Carlsbad Unified 23.7%
What percentage of these Latino students are children of illegal aliens? No one seems to know. Remember that goofy law that says you can’t ask the legal status of someone who is receiving taxpayer assistance? Of more recent vintage, at the county level, a comprehensive analysis of the impact of illegal aliens on the county was conducted:
Estimating the Cost to the County of San Diego, California, of Services Delivered to Undocumented Immigrants During FY 2006-07
John R. Weeks, Ph.D.
David M. Eisenberg, Ph.D.
The total estimated impact of undocumented immigrants on County government is $101,494,401 for fiscal year 2006-07. Of this, $75,010,931 is attributable to costs associated with the criminal justice impact of undocumented immigrants, and the remainder ($26,483,470) is due to health and human service and environmental impacts.
The total impact of $101 million can be divided by the estimated number of undocumented immigrants in 2006 to produce a per undocumented immigrant impact of $527 per year. Looked at from the taxpayer cost perspective, the cost per legal resident of San Diego County in 2006 was $35.31. (In other words, illegal immigrants represent a cost more than 15 times that of legal residents! editor)
Our estimates of the impact on county services are made difficult by the fact that most agencies do not keep records of the legal status of people served. Indeed, in some cases, they are expressly forbidden from doing so. Thus, it is probably impossible to ever know the exact impact of undocumented immigrants. (Here again, common sense is missing. Why have addle-brained legislators prohibited asking the legal status of a recipient of taxpayer funded services? We have every right to know who is requesting support and to accept or reject that request. editor)
It is likely that the single biggest cost to the county (but not to the county government) of undocumented immigrants is unreimbursed emergency medical care. The Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties has estimated that 25 percent of emergency room admissions in San Diego County are undocumented immigrants. According to Hospital Association estimates, the uncompensated ER care for FY 2006 was $619,665,764. The Association has no estimate of in-patient care cost for undocumented persons.
Applying the uncompensated care cost to the impact of 25 percent produces a direct cost of 154,916,441. This is a cost of $804 per undocumented immigrant in 2006; or $53.90 per legal resident of the county. (editor’s note: Here again, the cost to treat illegal aliens in the ER is more than 15 times that of a legal resident!) This represents a genuinely substantial impact to the community, but it is not a direct impact on the costs of County government.
Our estimates suggest that the undocumented immigrant population itself nearly doubled over this period of time—from 110,965 in 1999 to 192,654 in 2006. Yet, it can be seen that the costs per undocumented have nonetheless increased even faster than the immigrant population itself, presumably reflecting an increase in the costs to the County of its overall operations. Immigration policy and enforcement is the responsibility of the Federal government, but the consequences of those policies and enforcement activities wind up being borne by local communities, as a consequence of the Federal government failing to fully acknowledge its financial responsibility for the actions of people who are in the country illegally. Undocumented immigrants may create a nearly invisible, yet substantial, fiscal burden on local governments (and thus local taxpayers) through their unauthorized use of locally tax-supported health and social services, and through the expenses borne as a result of processing undocumented immigrants who commit, or are alleged to commit, crimes within San Diego County.
Additional Impacts on Education
Free or reduced food for students: Study 98/99 by San Diego County School Meal Analysis:
(Total school population, followed by number of free or reduced food, followed by percentage of total school population receiving free or reduced food)
|Escondido Union Elementary
|San Pasqual Union Elementary
Local Hospital Coverage
Back in March 2007, there was quite a flap when local hospitals learned that they might lose federal funding to help offset the cost of treating illegal aliens:
Jan Emerson, spokeswoman of the California Hospital Association, said hospital officials had gotten word that a Congress member planned to propose shifting $233 million from the Section 1011 program ---- the $1 billion 2005 hospital funding program ---- to another, unrelated program.
Emerson, however, said the proposal was dropped Thursday in the committee hearing. Staff members from the appropriations committee confirmed that the proposal was dropped, but also said they did not know who sponsored the planned shift.
"We're very pleased at this point," Emerson said. "It is done for the moment. But can I say with complete confidence that we're never going to have to fight this again? No. We're going to have to be extremely vigilant."
Emerson said hospitals were slow to begin applying for the federal reimbursement money when the program began, which created a backlog. The $233 million was money that hadn't been paid out to hospitals for last year's applications.
The hospital-funding program itself, Emerson said, was approved by Congress and President Bush as an addendum to the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act. It gave hospitals nationwide a $1 billion pool of cash to help offset the cost of treating illegal immigrants who can't pay for their own treatment.
Emerson and local hospital officials said the $1 billion represented just a fragment of hospitals' actual costs for treating illegal immigrants.
She said California hospitals alone estimate their annual costs to treat illegal immigrants at $700 million annually. Emerson said that estimate is based upon the industry's belief that 10 percent of emergency room patients who cannot pay are illegal immigrants. Federal law requires hospitals to treat all patients who enter emergency rooms.
Emerson and local hospital officials said federal law also forbids hospitals from asking patients if they're legal residents. However, local hospital officials said that when emergency-room patients cannot pay for their treatment, the hospital will try to help arrange for financial assistance ---- and then ask what the patients' residency status is. They said they use those numbers to submit applications for the hospital-funding program.
Emerson said hospital leaders believe the federal program is important ---- even though hospitals maintain the funding represents a drop in the bucket of their real costs ---- because it marked the first time the federal government "took responsibility" in helping to cover the cost of illegal immigrants' medical care.
"It's the first time the federal government had ever acknowledged that people are getting across the border because of failed policing, and that federal law tells us 'You have to treat them,' " she said.
A spokesman for Scripps Health ---- which runs six hospitals in San Diego County, including Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas ---- had received $845,953 for 337 patient cases between May 2005 and March 2006. He said that included $52,699 for 25 cases at Scripps Encinitas.
At the same time, Andy Hoang, spokesman for North County's largest public hospital district, Palomar Pomerado Health, said it had received roughly $1.6 million since 2005. But he said the district ---- which operates Escondido's Palomar Medical Center and Poway's Pomerado Hospital ---- was still expected an additional $900,000 for treatment it expects to deliver through June (2007). Hoang said Palomar Pomerado officials could not immediately say how many patients their charges covered.
Jeff Segall of Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center said the hospital had received $427,838, and was still waiting on $301,162, for services to 694 patients ---- roughly three-quarters of 1 percent of the 93,586 emergency room patients ---- treated from May of 2005 until Dec. 31, 2006.
Hoang said hospital officials were very happy that proposed funding cut had been dropped.
"Even though this is just a fraction of our overall costs from non-residents, it (funding) sends the right message," Hoang said, "that the government is going to help hospitals shoulder some of the bad debt from treating non-residents."
Yet another study confirms the high cost of uncompensated medical care.
The United States/Mexico
Border Counties Coalition
Costs of Uncompensated Care in Southwest Border Counties
A common theme among many of the GAO studies was the need for the government and hospitals to systematically gather more reliable data on the amount of uncompensated care
delivered to undocumented immigrants and to develop better ways of tracking that information.
Summary: United States General Accounting Office: Benefits for Illegal Aliens- Some Program Costs Increasing, but Total Costs Unknown. Washington, DC. GAO, September 1993.
General Accounting Office
In reaching that summary, the GAO reviewed costs of benefits provided to illegal aliens and their citizen children, including K-12 Education, AFDC, Medicaid, State Prisons and Food Stamps.
· Various factors limit the availability of cost data, including restrictions on asking applicants about their immigration status.
· State and local government appears to pay the greatest share of costs, with California paying the most.
Illegal Aliens and Crime
Aside from the costs incurred from school and hospital support for illegal aliens, there is also the question of crime. A little over a year ago, on August 23, 2007, a sweep by federal immigration agents and local authorities netted 60 Mexican immigrants in North County with ties to violent gangs, federal officials said.
The two-week sweep was part of Operation Community Shield, an ongoing nationwide effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to dismantle transnational gangs. In addition to ICE agents, officers involved in the raids included sheriff's deputies, Escondido and Oceanside police officers, county probation officers and members of the North County Regional Gang Task Force.
Since it began in 2005, Community Shield has led to the arrest of more than 4,900 gang members and associates belonging to more than 500 street gangs around the country, officials said. Of those arrested, 272 were in San Diego County.
All states are required to provide emergency hospital care to people regardless of citizenship. They are also required to provide a free public education to anybody who lives in their state. Attempts to stop these practices with Proposition 187 here in California were ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, keeping those mandates in place.
The federal government should be compensating our state for those costs, and for the costs of jailing and imprisoning illegal aliens, but has fallen woefully short of paying for their obligation to us.
Those requirements exist in every state. The reason illegal immigrants stay in California in the greatest numbers is because beyond the huge labor market and large cities to get lost in, they get welfare, free food, free medical care and in-state college tuition that they cannot get in Mexico.
About a year ago, Escondido City Councilman Sam Abed, addressed this issue by urging Police Chief Jim Maher to "aggressively" encourage the deportation of illegal immigrants "who commit crimes in our city - anything from major crimes to domestic violence to driving under the influence to driving without a license and to driving without insurance."
"Our goal is to reduce crime, and we are looking at an aggressive policy," Abed said.
. . . We suspect that a substantial number of illegals are contributing to this safety situation. We are not going to tolerate illegals who commit crimes in our city."
“We are limited in what we can do as a local government. Only with those that commit crime. That is our policy right now. Immigration is the Federal government's job. With legal immigration we get what we want, educational criteria, skills, talents, training. etc. With illegal aliens, we have no control.
We have to focus on a public safety standard and quality of life standard; We can, however, work to ensure that no taxpayer money is spent to benefit illegal immigrants by looking at the entitlement issues.
I would like to do as much as we can to do what the law allows us to do without going into the legal issues and spending money on litigation.
We have done a great deal already, The active application of appearance and compliance teams re: code enforcement, police checkpoints for safe, licensed drivers.
According to Abed, Escondido has lost 12,000 people, citing a census from last year. He said, of this 12,000, 9500 were believed to be illegal immigrants. “The only reason is economics . . . the public safety standards and quality of life standards we have set have discouraged illegals from coming to Escondido.”
The City of Escondido is looking at low income housing. Here we are legally able to determine the legal status of candidates for housing. The developer should be able to check entitlement through Federal Government . . SAVE program, a federal program to verify entitlement. We've reviewed our contracts to ensure we are spending government money on legal residents. We still have to make sure anytime we use federal or state money we go through the verification process. We have to be compassionate for the human rights, even if they are illegals. They do not have civil rights, they do have human rights.”
Abed also cited one example that illustrates how the governmental payment of services for illegal alients affect us all monetarily. “My manager went to the ER for one night. He had chest pains. He stayed overnight for examination. He was there for less than 24 hours. His bill came to $18,000. That bill was so large because you and I, as patients, are effectively subsidizing health services to illegals.”
Councilman Dick Daniels and announced candidate for Mayor, and Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, were both contacted for comments on this story:
“We are doing those things that we are entitled to do concerning illegal immigration. Tht problem is beyond the scope of cities to deal with. We have problems with those who are illegal, just like any other city. The economy is dealing with a lot of jobs and the numbers are declining. Special census early last year shows a decline in Escondido’s population. Within that decline is a large number of illegal aliens.
Our checkpoints are dealing with anyone who is unlicensed, uninsured. Most people that are being caught in those checkpoints are undocumented. That, in my judgment, is not an issue that should be politicized. Our Chief of Police, Jim Maher, is given a budget and responsibility to keep city safe. If he feels the checkpoints are necessary to protect the community and enforce the law properly, I will support that. I, not the council, would not not likely instruct the Chief counter to his recommendations.
We have other priorities right now, however. We have to right our financial ship and still maintain public safety, public works. I, for one, am not interested in pursuing areas where we have no authority or ability because of lack of resources.”
Dr. Madeleine Cosman, Ph.D., ESQ
April 25, 2005
Illegal aliens cross America’s borders medically unexamined. We shrug. We do not know what Illegal Aliens carry in their backpacks. We do not know what they carry in their bodies.
Long ago we knew what legal immigrants brought with them. When my grandpa came to America, he kissed the ground of New York’s Ellis Island, then he stripped naked and coughed hard. Every legal immigrant before 1924 was examined for infectious diseases upon arrival and tested for tuberculosis. Anyone infected was shipped back to the old country. That was powerful incentive for each newcomer to make heroic efforts to appear healthy.
Today, legal immigrants must demonstrate that they are free of communicable diseases and drug addiction to qualify for lawful permanent residency Green Cards.
But Illegal Aliens stop at no medical checkpoint. Whoever walks through our foolishly open Golden Door comes in healthy or sick. If a border patrol sentry catches a healthy Illegal Alien he might be sent back home immediately. However, if we catch and detain a sick Illegal Alien, who after examination by physicians in a detention center proves to have a serious disease, we keep him! Foolish compassion makes us fear that his home country has neither adequate medical resources nor modern wonder drugs. So we release sick Illegal Aliens to the American streets, to infect others if their diseases are contagious, or we place them in our Medicaid program where we pay for their expensive treatments.
Foolish medical generosity encourages clever Illegal Aliens to exploit free medical care that EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, provides. Foolish medical graciousness encourages cynical Illegal Aliens to take and take and take again. Only a foolish guest will refuse what a foolish host offers. Our wide-open Golden Door guarantees that Illegal Aliens in their own self-interest will use and abuse our medical system. Our Golden Door also is propped open, thanks to advocacy and legal aid of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Foundation, National Immigration Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and similar open border groups. America is fast becoming Hospital to the World.
Astounding National Cost Figures of Illegal Aliens
$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
$12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally.
$17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
The federal government does not contribute one dime of its tax collections to the state's effort to subsidize illegal entry into this country. California taxpayers foot the entire bill. Those taxpayers are justifiably outraged.
Until California is willing to say "no welfare for illegals," illegal immigrants will continue to come and stay, and you and I will continue to pay.
So, What Do We Do About the Problem?
Don’t relax. The problem won’t go away unless you raise hell with legislators at the city, county, state and federal level.
Brian Bilbray (50th District) (R)
Darrell Issa (49th District) (R)
Diane Feinstein (D)
Barbara Boxer (D)
619 239.5719 (FAX)
Senator Mark Wyland
Assemblyman Martin Garrick
Escondido City Council
City Mayor's Office: 760.839.4610
City Council's Office: 760.839.4638
Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler
Mayor Pro-Tem Dick Daniels
To contact the Mayor or any Councilmember call the City offices at 760-744-1050.
Mayor Jim Desmond
Vice Mayor Hal Martin
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
760.744-1050, ext. 3145
760.744.1050, ext. 3154
Mayor Morris B. Vance
760.726.1340 ext. 1435
Mayor Pro Tem Bob Campbell
760.726.1340 ext. 1432
760.726.1340 ext. 1436
Phone: 760.726.1340 ext. 1433
Personal Website: www.stevegronke.com
760.726.1340 ext. 1434
Mayor & Council only lists a central phone number:
Mayor Claude “Bud” Lewis
Mayor Pro Tem Ann J. Kulchin
Email: http://www.carlsbadca.gov/contact/?sendto=City Council
Mayor Jim Wood
Jerome M. Kern
Esther C. Sanchez
Write, email, call your legislators. Let them know of your outrage at the restrictions that deny governmental agencies the right to determine the legal status of recipients of taxpayer funded services; at the lack of enforcement of existing laws, at the lack of firm resolve on the part of our legislators to do their job and represent not only the will but the rights of the American citizen and all other LEGAL residents.
About the Author:
Before too many people assume that lyle e davis is anti Latino . . understand from my opening paragraph . . . I welcome with open arms those LEGAL immigrants. It’s only illegal immigrants I reject.
I have long worked to help less fortunate residents of our community, with particular emphasis on Latinos. Proof of that is in the following awards and recognitions:
Founder, North County Youth Soccer Association, NCYSA
Founder: Los Caballeros de Aventura (The Gentlemen of Adventure)
a. A joint award from the B’ahai organization, together with the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” foundation, 1999.
b. Escondido City Council Award for Service to Youth, 1998
c. Award from the late Senator Wm. Cravens, State of California.
d. Award from Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham (yes, that Congressman).
e. KGTV Channel 10 Leadership Aard for Los Caballeros.
Numerous other awards, mostly in connection with Los Caballeros de Aventura, an organization designed to divert Latino kids away from “Los Pandillas” (the gangs). It was very successful. We have become close friends with many Latino families as a result of Los Caballeros. Still, I, and most all Latino families I know, recognize the absolute need for this nation to control its borders, to require only legal immigrants to come to this country and to ensure that illegals are deported. Now.
You, and only you, can put enough pressure on legislators to make this happen.
CSUSM, Enrollment Study 2003-2004, N. SDO County
San Diego Union-Tribune
North County Times
Legal Opinion/Commentary by Gary Kreep,
United States Justice Foundation
Others, as noted within the story