Government watchdog Judicial Watch on Thursday announced it is suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom for an executive action that will hand out cash to illegal aliens in the state while depriving U.S. citizens of the same benefit.
The governor announced April 15 an executive initiative to spend $75 million of taxpayer money “to provide direct cash assistance to unlawfully present aliens,” Judicial Watch said.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Robin Crest and Howard Myers, was submitted to the Superior Court in Los Angeles County.
“Gov. Newsom has no legal authority on his own to spend state taxpayer money for cash payments to illegal aliens,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The coronavirus challenge doesn’t give politicians a pass to violate the law. If California politicians want to give cash payments to illegal aliens, they must be accountable and transparent, and, as federal law requires, pass a law to do so.”
The complaint alleges Newsom overstepped his authority and also violated federal law when his executive action established the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project.
Its objective is to support illegal aliens “who otherwise are ineligible for state or federal insurance or other benefits due to their unlawful presence in the United States.”
The governor’s plan includes $4.8 million to run the program, which would give a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult or $1,000 per household to 150,000 illegal aliens in the state.
“These benefits are not provided to U.S. citizens residing in the state,” Judicial Watch said.
“Under federal immigration law, 8 U.S.C. § 1621(a), unlawfully present aliens generally are ineligible for state or local public benefits. Section 1621(d) requires a state legislature to enact a state law which affirmatively provides for such benefits for illegal aliens,” the organization said.
The complaint says Newsom plans to use “immigrant-serving community-based nonprofit organizations” to hand out benefits.
And his own “fact sheet” says “only unlawfully present aliens are eligible for direct assistance.”
The money is to come directly from state personal income taxes, sales and use taxes, and corporate taxes.
“As a consequence, the $75 million expenditure is an illegal expenditure of taxpayer funds under California law,” the complaint asserts.
The lawsuit seeks an order halting the program.