What You Need To Know
Today, Governor Brown proposed spending $122.6 billion for California’s 2016-2017 state budget. CIPC praises Governor Brown for continuing his commitment to immigrant integration investments. However, we urge the legislature to do more to the eliminate inequities and discriminatory exclusion within California’s public benefits programs.
From Healthcare, to the Earned Income Tax Credits, to within the CalFresh program, to a slew of other economic support programs, many working families remain excluded from accessing vital support, despite their fundamental role in California’s civic, cultural, and economic life. California’s immigrants – both undocumented and lawfully present – make up over a quarter of all state residents, more than a third of our workforce, and contribute $650 billion to the state’s GDP. Additionally, undocumented immigrants alone contribute $130 billion to CA’s GDP which is greater than the entire GDP of the neighboring state of the Nevada. We urge legislators to expand access to healthcare and public benefits and to increase overall investments in immigrant integration. California’s health, growth and prosperity depends on the social and economic inclusion of all of our residents. Otherwise, these inequities in our state’s programs will continue to severely undermine efforts to reduce poverty.
Full-Scope Medi-Cal for Undocumented Children – Key Step Towards Health for All But More Needs To Be Done
Last year we saw a historic investment for immigrant children with an initial funding of $40 million in the 2015-2016 state budget (SB 75) to expand full-scope Medi-Cal to undocumented children in California. In addition, SB 4, signed last year, strengthens this expansion by ensuring that undocumented children will be able to transition from restricted-scope “emergency” Medi-Cal to full-scope Medi-Cal seamlessly without barriers to enrollment.
This year, the Governor’s 2016-2017 proposed budget continues the state’s commitment to this investment by including $145 million for providing health care coverage to all children, regardless of their immigration status. This funding will provide 170,000 undocumented children with access to comprehensive coverage and access to critical medical services expected to commence as soon as May 1, 2016.
CIPC applauds the Governor for standing by immigrant families and ensuring that no child in California is denied care simply because of where they were born. However, the work for Health for All is far from over. Over a million undocumented Californians, including parents of undocumented children benefiting from this investment, continue to be locked out of care due to their immigration status. And we know that having healthy parents is crucial to keeping children healthy and happy.
This year we will continue working with advocates, immigrant rights partners, and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to ensure that the expansion of full-scope Medi-Cal to all children proceeds in a timely and seamless manner. We are also committed to building upon this investment by fighting for health for all and ensuring that no one continues to be unjustly excluded from care. We also urge the Governor and legislature to finish the job and pass Health for All because our health care system works best when everyone is included.
Last year the state invested $15 million in the One California coalition’s proposal to fund education, outreach, and application assistance for DACA, DAPA, and naturalization. The Governor’s 2016-17 proposed budget continues vital investments in immigration relief services as well as legal counsel for unaccompanied children seeking refuge from violence in their home countries. Both programs fall under the new Immigration Branch in the Department of Social Services.
- $15 Million for Immigration Services Program
- $3 Million for Undocumented Unaccompanied Minors (UUM) Program
While CIPC applauds the continued investment towards these critical services, we are looking forward to our work with the coalition, and partners and allies across the state, to ensure California is ready to respond to the tremendous need for immigration services with millions of Californians eligible for deportation relief under President Obama’s pending administrative relief programs. Supporting access to deportation relief and civic participation is essential to bolster the welfare and economic stability of California’s immigrants and their families. In light of the Obama administration’s painful doubling down on shockingly cruel deportation tactics, we must continue to build California’s leadership in protecting community members from deportation.”
Last year’s budget established a Statewide Director of Immigrant Integration within the Governor’s office. The position, while established, is awaiting the Governor’s appointment.
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- Human Services
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