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July 18, 2011

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Undocumented Immigrants. Denies Benefits
For Certain Children in CalWORKS. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for their measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponents and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponents and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS. DENIES BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN IN CALWORKS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires state and local agencies to check immigration status of applicants for public benefits, including certain children. Requires agencies to report applicants whose immigration status is unverified to federal immigration authorities, including parents requesting benefits for legal resident children. Denies CalWORKS benefits for certain children with unverified immigration status. Requires state and local law enforcement to comply with direction from federal immigration authorities for holding and transferring undocumented immigrants arrested. Requires commitment for law enforcement agencies to perform federal immigration functions. Bars policies against enforcement of federal immigration laws. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Unknown significant one-time and ongoing costs to state and local governments due to changes in the application process for public benefits, as well as unknown but likely significant savings from decreased use of public benefits. State savings in the hundreds of millions annually from imposing a two-year time limit on CalWORKs benefits for children of undocumented persons, partially offset by state and county costs for children who shifted to Foster Care or county general assistance programs. Increased costs to the state and local criminal justice system, potentially exceeding tens of millions of dollars annually, for training of peace officers, verifying the immigration status of individuals who are arrested, and detaining some of these persons until their transfer to federal custody. (11-0012.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1488 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0012.

The proponents for this measure, Tirso Del Junco, Ted Hilton and Bill Siler, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by December 15, 2011.

No contact information was provided by the proponents.

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