According to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest grim report, by the middle of next year, California's budget deficit will be $42 billion. Schwarzenegger claims that the state will be flat broke in February … as in next month.
Obviously, serious action resulting in long-term financial relief must be taken.
But so far, Schwarzenegger has only offered up predictable, short-term and ineffectual piecemeal solutions.
Among them are unpaid furloughs for certain state employees, putting off essential infrastructure repairs and a federal government bailout.
What's badly needed is a realistic approach to how California handles how it disburses muchneeded monies to its illegal alien population, a problem that has been ignored for 40 years.
Good news is on the horizon.
Voters will have a chance to put on the June 2010 ballot a measure that will deal fairly and realistically - not harshly and punitively - with California's alien population by effectively eliminating the 14th Amendment birthright citizenship clause that eventually entitles illegal immigrants to collect a cornucopia of social services.
According to many legal scholars, the 14th Amendment phrase "subject to the jurisdiction" means that birthright citizens can be born only to parents who are not subjects of a foreign power, as illegal aliens obviously are.
The California Taxpayer Protection Act is a statewide initiative that could end the automatic citizenship status wrongly bestowed upon children born to illegal aliens and foreign visitors in the United States.
Authored by Ted Hilton, a Constitutional law scholar and expert on the 14th Amendment's original intent, the measure has three major provisions.
First, it would create an alternate type of California birth certificate for children born to illegal aliens and others who are not legal permanent residents. A birth certificate - like the one I have - would be issued only to children with at least one parent who submits an affidavit stating that he or she is a citizen or a permanent legal resident, pending verification of social security numbers.
Second, the legislation would restrict illegal alien parents from applying for child-only benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for their U.S.- born children by requiring that all applicants be lawfully present.
Third, public benefits would be limited because qualifying for them would require a signed affidavit under penalty of perjury that one is a citizen or qualified alien, and it would use Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program to verify legal residency.
Birth mothers who are not citizens or legal residents would be required to: apply for a birth certificate in person; provide complete identity as well as means of support; submit three passport-type photographs; and be fingerprinted.
All of this information would be provided to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These applicants would pay a $75 fee.
An indirect benefit of the California Taxpayer Protection Act is that it will spark a national debate that's needed to act as a precursor to ending automatic citizenship nationwide.
If California is successful, it will set the stage for other states to follow with similar legislation. That, in turn, would likely prompt litigation in opposition that could eventually bring the question before give U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling.
The high court has never decided a citizenship case for children of illegal or temporary residents. Thus, the misguided and unintended interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment has evolved.
Citizens have multiple reasons to support this measure.
In addition to saving millions of dollars, the act would reduce California's crime rate. A major reason deported criminal illegal aliens return immediately to the United States after deportation is because they have left behind children born here. According to Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary, there are two million criminal illegal aliens in the U.S.
There can never be "border security" without ending automatic citizenship.
June 2010 - 18 months from now - may seem a long way off. But initiatives that attempt to correct politically correct injustices are an uphill climb, so it's best to spread the word early.
Joe Guzzardi is recently retired from the Lodi Unified School District. Mail can be sent to him at email@example.com.