The initiative would require all applicants for public benefits to verify their legal status. And unlike Proposition 187, it would not attempt to curtail access to education.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that states could not bar illegal immigrant children from schools.
The measure's most controversial provisions would take aim at the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. It would end state welfare to an estimated 48,000 households and 100,000 children, aid that now costs the state $640 million a year.
Currently, children of illegal immigrants can receive CalWorks benefits if their parents are poor enough to qualify for welfare. About 42% of child only" cases in the CalWorks program involve illegal-immigrant parents, state officials say.
The measure would also cut off CalWorks payments to the children of citizens or legal residents who fail to meet eligibility requirements for state aid because they are unwilling to work, addicted to drugs or absent, among other reasons.
The initiative would require that applicants for birth certificates verify their legal status.
Those who could not would have to present official identification from a foreign government, a record of any publicly funded costs for delivering the child and other information before receiving their child's birth certificate, which would be marked with the notation "foreign parent."
The records would be sent to Homeland Security officials.
Kristina Campbell, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund in Los Angeles, said that provision is legally vulnerable. "You can't deny a U.S. citizen child a birth certificate," she said.
"They are entitled to equal protection of the law."
The views were different at Camp Vigilance, where many of the 300 people gathered for a Fourth of July program on illegal immigration flocked to sign the petition.
"Coming here in violation of our laws is an act of disrespect," said Tony Dolz, a native Cuban and campaign volunteer. "Those who break our laws should not benefit from it."