A Daily Caller News Foundation reporter said Tuesday that California’s expansion of MediCal, its version of Medicaid, will draw more illegal immigrants to the state.

The expansion of California’s MediCal program took effect Monday, making about 700,000 illegal immigrants between the age of 26 and 49 eligible for full coverage under the taxpayer-funded program. The program includes coverage for “gender-affirming care,” according to a memo from the state government.

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“One of the biggest impacts here is this pull factor that migrants that cross the southern border and even the northern border, they tend to go to states that offer a lot of public resources, like health care,” DCNF Investigative Reporter Jennie Taer told “The Hill: Rising” co-hosts Robby Soave and Briahna Joy Gray.

“So in this situation, one of the things I think we will see is that more will come to states like California, especially because crossing the border there is a lot easier than, let’s say, like Texas, where we’re seeing the governor crack down on illegal crossings,” Taer continued.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed legislation allowing law enforcement officers to arrest illegal aliens Dec. 18, prompting threats of legal action from the Justice Department.

“I think that has a big impact, and maybe some of the traffic in Texas will be pushed to California by the cartels,” Taer said, noting that California’s budget deficit grew from $14 billion to $56 billion.

Almost 380,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2024, which started Oct. 1, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), following 2,045,838 encounters in fiscal year 2023, 2,206,436 in fiscal year 2022 and 1,659,206 in fiscal year 2021.

Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago complained on Dec. 18 that busing by Abbott was “attacking” the country, days after he signed an ordinance aimed at restricting buses to the city. Democratic Mayor Eric Adams of New York City issued an order that placed restrictions on when and how buses could deliver migrants to the city.

Jennie Taeron January 2, 2024

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