* Re "Committee Unveils Plan to Reform O.C. Welfare," Feb. 20:
We appreciate your article regarding welfare reform. Although informative, the article contains some misconceptions.
The article stated that Gov. Pete Wilson's proposals didn't contain recommendations for the prenatal care of illegal immigrants. This is somewhat misleading.
According to the U.S. Constitution, immigration is the responsibility of the federal government. State policies must comply with the federal law, which clearly denies publicly funded services to illegal immigrants.
The governor's proposals are completely consistent with the responsibilities of the state. The governor's policies have always indicated his strong desire that state resources be used to fund services for citizens who are in the country legally. Taxpayer-funded services to undocumented immigrants take benefits away from needy citizens and legal immigrants.
In addition, the statement indicating that Wilson has proposed the total elimination of general relief payments is incorrect. The governor has proposed lifting the requirement to provide cash assistance, giving California counties the flexibility to use the money to fulfill the unique needs of their individual communities.
For example, the cash grant portion of the general assistance program could be used in the form of a voucher for job training, transportation and/or child care. No one knows better than the counties how to address the specific needs of welfare recipients, and this would ensure that funds were being tailored toward individual cases.
Director, Governor's Office of Orange County