Los Angeles County paid illegal immigrant families over $1.3 billion dollars from 2015 to 2016, Fox News reports.
The metric is over a quarter of the money the county has spent on its entire low-income population. The Department of Public Social Services, the entity that assesses welfare and food stamp benefits in the county, gave a summary of costs associated with the city’s lax sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants.
According to a study by the Migration Policy Institute, Los Angeles has one of the highest concentration of undocumented people of any county in the country. It also permits undocumented families with children born in the U.S. to receive full welfare and food stamp benefits.
Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation says these costs are just “the tip of the iceberg,” when it comes to supporting illegal immigrant families.
He also notes that the state can subsidize up to $24,000 per family to pay for education, police and fire, medical, and affordable housing coverage.
Rector stated, “They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend.”
The Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration could reduce the population taking advantage of these government handouts. This year, Los Angeles County is expected to cut down on these benefits by almost $200 million from 2016 due to several thousand fewer undocumented families accepting state-funded welfare.
“The number of entrants nationwide is going down. The population is static if not shrinking,” Rector said.
Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Services shows that more than 58,000 families collected $602 million in benefits in 2015. 64,000 families received a total of $675 million in 2016. The entire county’s population cost the state $3.1 billion in total welfare and food stamps in 2015, and $2.9 billion in 2016.
A quarter of California’s 4 million undocumented immigrants currently reside in Los Angeles county.
Los Angeles’ mayor Eric Garcetti has been one of the most ardent supporters of benefits for illegal immigrants.
“Immigration is at the heart of LA’s story,” Garcetti said. “LA’s become one of the world’s great cities by embracing immigration and diversity and we’ll continue supporting anyone who wants to work hard and invest in our future – no matter who they are, where they came from or what language they speak.”