|FRIENDS OF IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT (FILE)|
SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
COMPLAINT FOR WRIT OF MANDATE OR OTHER ORDER
1. This is an action for mandate relief challenging respondent’s, and others acting under his authority, failure to comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(b)(1)(A), which requires respondent to seek reimbursement from the sponsors of legal immigrants for means-tested public benefits provided to those immigrants.
1. Petitioner is a resident of Los Angeles County in the State of California who has paid taxes to the State of California and the County of Los Angeles within the past year.
2. Respondent is the director of the Department of Health Services (DHS) for Los Angeles County in the State of California. Respondent is charged with seeking reimbursement from sponsors of legal immigrants for means-tested public benefits provided to those immigrants.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. Jurisdiction is proper because any California state court has jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandate, and both the petitioner and respondent are citizens of the State of California.
2. Venue is proper because the respondent is located in Los Angeles County. See Cal Code Civ Proc § 304 (2003).
ALLEGATIONS OF FACT
1. One method for immigrants to legally enter into and reside in the United States is to be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
2. All sponsors must sign an affidavit of support.
3. By signing the affidavit of support, the sponsor agrees to support the immigrant and accept liability for the cost of any means-tested public benefit provided to the immigrant. 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(b)(1)(A) (2003).
4. 8 U.S.C. 1183a(b)(1)(A) requires that “Upon notification that a sponsored alien has received any means-tested public benefit, the appropriate nongovernmental entity which provided such benefit or the appropriate entity of the Federal Government, a State, or any political subdivision of a State shall request reimbursement by the sponsor in an amount which is equal to the unreimbursed costs of such benefit.”
5. Respondent is the appropriate entity in the State of California to seek reimbursement.
6. For the fiscal year 2001-2002, Los Angeles County recorded 2,574 patients who were legal immigrants, who received in-patient services from DHS, who did not have third party coverage, and who did not have the ability to pay for services.
7. DHS does not ask service users immigration status.8. DHS's "don't ask" policy precludes the possibility of notification that the DHS may be due reimbursement, and, therefore, precludes the possibility of compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1183a(b)(1)(A).9. DHS has made no attempt to collect monies due it, in violation of the legislative intent of 8 U.S.C. 1183a(b)(1)(A).
10. DHS projects it will lose $700 million this year, and has recently had to close 11 clinics.
11. Respondent is failing to seek reimbursement, depriving the County of Los Angeles of funds due it and injuring the taxpayers of Los Angeles County, who are forced to pay higher taxes, or receive diminished services, due to this failure by respondent.
12. Petitioner, who pays taxes to Los Angeles County, has standing under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 526a (2003) to bring suit to enjoin the respondent to perform his legal duty to collect funds due the County. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 526a states “An action to obtain a judgment, restraining and preventing any illegal expenditure of, waste of, or injury to, the estate, funds, or other property of a county, town, city or city and county of the state, may be maintained against any officer thereof, or any agent, or other person, acting in its behalf, either by a citizen resident therein, or by a corporation, who is assessed for and is liable to pay, or, within one year before the commencement of the action, has paid, a tax therein.”
13. “It is established that an action lies under section 526a not only to enjoin wasteful expenditures, but also to enforce the government's duty to collect funds due the State.” Vasquez v. State of California, 105 Cal. App. 4th 849 (2003).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
1. Wherefore, petitioner requests the court to issue a writ of mandate instructing respondent to seek reimbursement from those sponsoring immigrants for means-tested public benefits provided to those sponsored immigrants.
2. Wherefore, petitioner requests the court to issue a writ of mandate instructing respondent to take whatever reasonable steps necessary and collect whatever data necessary to create the conditions necessary in order to be in compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1183a(b)(1)(A).
2. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.5 (2003), petitioner requests reimbursement for all attorneys’ fees and costs associated with this action that is brought in the public’s interest.
3. Petitioner requests any other relief that the court deems appropriate.
Dated: September 30, 2003 LAW OFFICES OF JAMES E. BAME
Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement
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