There were 2.8 million illegal immigrants living in California in 2006, the last year for which there are relatively good figures, according to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. That represented about 8% of the state's population and roughly a quarter of the nation's illegal immigrants.
About 90% of California's illegal immigrants were from Latin America; 65% from Mexico. There are roughly 19,000 illegal immigrants in state prisons, representing 11% of all inmates. That's costing $970 million during the current fiscal year.
The feds kick in a measly $111 million, leaving the state with an $859 million tab. Advertisement Schools are the toughest to calculate. Administrators don't ask kids about citizenship status. Anyway, many children of illegal immigrants were born in this country and automatically became U.S. citizens. If you figure that the children of illegal immigrants attending K-12 schools approximates the proportion of illegal immigrants in the population, the bill currently comes to roughly $4 billion. Most is state money; some local property taxes.
Illegal immigrants aren't entitled to welfare, called CalWORKs. But their citizen children are. Roughly 190,000 kids are receiving welfare checks that pass through their parents. The cost: about $500 million, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.
Schwarzenegger has proposed removing these children from the welfare rolls after five years. It's part of a broader proposal to also boot off, after five years, the children of U.S. citizens who aren't meeting federal work requirements.
There'd be a combined savings of $522 million. The state is spending $775 million on Medi-Cal healthcare for illegal immigrants, according to the legislative analyst. Of that, $642 million goes into direct benefits.
Practically all the rest is paid to counties to administer the program. The feds generally match the state dollar-for-dollar on mandatory programs. So-called emergency services are the biggest state cost: $536 million. Prenatal care is $59 million. Not counted in the overall total is the cost of baby delivery -- $108 million -- because the newborns aren't illegal immigrants.
The state also pays $47 million for programs that Washington does not require: Non-emergency care (breast and cervical cancer treatment), $25 million; long-term nursing home care, $19 million; abortions, $3 million.