Since July 2008, the County of Los Angeles has posted 81 people in 27 social service offices to check and verify immigration status of all applicants for social services. As the debate continues on health care, the lawyers at Fong & Aquino in Los Angeles remain concerned that immigrants are being made the scapegoats for a dysfunctional health-care system that they have had no hand in creating.
According to an article in today’s Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County has so far not found one illegal immigrant masquerading as a legal resident in order fraudulently to obtain social benefits. Among Medi-Cal applicants, only about 0.1% of the total applicant pool was found to be ineligible because of immigration status.
One has to ask the question: is the expense of this verification system worth what we’re paying for it?
One federal study noted that the records-verification system implemented in 6 states cost about $16.6 million in administrative costs — and found only eight undocumented immigrants.
Please contact your Senators and Representative to let them know that health-care reform is important for our nation, and that immigrants should not be used as an excuse for not providing the health care that Americans must have. –jcf