proposition 187

Proposition 187

Proposition 187 was a California ballot initiative designed to prevent illegal aliens from accessing non-emergency state services such as healthcare and schooling. It passed with 59% of the vote in 1994.

Supporters of illegal immigration frequently lie and mislead about it to support their agenda. Claims they make include:

1. They'll claim it blocked "all services" to illegal aliens; in fact it didn't block emergency services.

2. They'll claim it was declared unconstitutional. That is correct, however, what many will fail to mention is that that decision was made by a U.S. District Court (Judge Mariana Pfaelzer), and an appeal was made to a higher court until the appeal was in effect halted by Gray Davis. Those supporters will rarely reveal that the initiative never had its day in court and that the will of the voters was blocked for political reasons.

3. The most common claim is that 187 had a devastating impact on California's GOP. That claim is false as described at the link and below. That myth is spread by illegal/massive immigration supporters in a bi-partisan manner: many Democratic party leaders have used it, but it's also used repeatedly by frequent quote source Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican. It's also an issue in the 2010 gubernatorial race, with Meg Whitman even sponsoring Spanish-language billboards pointing out that she opposed 187 and currently opposes Arizona's new immigration law.

Those Republican opponents are in the end hurting the GOP and giving the Democrats more power. Instead of pointing out how those Hispanics - especially far-left racial power groups such as the National Council of La Raza who oppose our immigration laws are wrong, they're giving them more power and in effect underwriting far-left concepts.

Note that 187 was leading among Latinos 52% to 42% two months before the vote (11/24/97's "California's Latino Divide Over Bilingual Education", link). Instead of reviving and reaching out to the 52%, Republicans like Hoffenblum and Whitman are reaching out to people who'll probably never vote for them.

Despite the above, according to a Field Poll (PDF), it was opposed by Latino voters 73% to 27%.

It's not possible to determine exactly why there was such a disparity, but some possible factors would include missteps by supporters, such as some sending the message that they opposed immigration or Hispanics in general.

And, the opponents of 187 spread a wide variety of lies, and calls to ethnic solidarity might have played a role.

The lesson to be learned is not that proposals such as 187 are bad, but that they need to be handled correctly. And, when the other side is dominated by far-lefties who wave Mexican flags, why that is wrong needs to be pointed out.

The message from those who try to teach the wrong lesson is that the Republicans should give in to far-left racial solidarity groups and do what they want. Hardly a conservative lesson.

Note also that in 2004, the similar Proposition 200 passed with 56% of the vote in Arizona. The CNN exit poll (link) shows 47% of Latinos voting to support that proposition.

Perhaps those who try to offer the 187 lesson should look to 200 as an example of how they're wrong.

More on 187:

Last modified Jul 9, 2010
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Robert Reich misleads about immigration, Arizona, Mitt Romney - 04/28/12

At the Huffington Post, UC Berkeley professor and former Clinton official Robert Reich shows a decided lack of interest in getting his facts right (link).

He writes:

Did Proposition 187 irreparably damage the GOP in California? (No: just a myth spread by illegal immigration supporters) - 07/09/10

One of the oft-repeated claims by those who support illegal/massive immigration is that Proposition 187 irreparably damaged the Republican party in California. Those spreading that claim include many Democratic leaders but also Republicans such as frequent quote source Allan Hoffenblum.

Meg Whitman highlights opposition to Arizona immigration law on Spanish-language billboard - 07/08/10

The pandering by the Meg Whitman campaign has reached a new low, although I fully expect her to get even worse. The latest low is a billboard in Spanish (pictured right or below) which highlights her opposition to both the new Arizona immigration law and to Proposition 187.

The story about this (link) says that's a Whitman billboard and the picture is a screengrab of a video, so I'm assuming that it's been verified as coming from the campaign. And, it matches what she's said in previous pandering attempts, but somehow as a billboard it seems more in-your-face to the millions of Californians who support Arizona's law.

Your job: make sure as many Californians as possible know where Whitman stands.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this I found "Whitman Campaign expands Spanish-language advertising" (

The Meg Whitman for Governor Campaign has launched a Spanish-language outdoor advertising campaign as part of a comprehensive outreach effort to California's Latino voters.

The Spanish-language ads appear on billboards and bus stops in several Southern California and Central Valley communities.

One ad reads, "MÁS TRABAJOS," or "MORE JOBS." A second ad features a quote from Meg Whitman, "NO a la Proposición 187 y NO a la Ley de Arizona," or "NO on Proposition 187 and NO on the Arizona Law."

"This represents the next step in our continued effort to communicate with Latino voters," campaign spokesman Hector Barajas said. "While these ads help clear up some misconceptions, Meg Whitman understands the importance of our Latino community and the need to get all Californians working again."

Your job is to communicate with Americans - whatever their race or ethnicity - who support the Arizona law and let them know where Whitman stands.

UPDATE 2: Here's a clearer picture, from this:

meg whitman spanish billboard arizona

Why Michael Gerson can't be trusted on Arizona's immigration law - 04/28/10

Former George W Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson continues to be an attack toy poodle for the Bush family, this time offering "A test of Arizona's political character" in the Washington Post (link). I'm going to outsource most of this to Byron York (link) and fill in some of the gaps.

Gerson starts with no less than two hoary talking points in one paragraph:

[Chaos on the border] is an argument for effective border enforcement. It is also an argument for a guest-worker program that permits an orderly, regulated flow of temporary, migrant laborers, allowing border authorities to focus on more urgent crimes than those resulting from the desire to provide for one's family.

See safe legal orderly for others using what Gerson transcribes as "orderly, regulated". Note that the last part is the busboys canard. See also guest workers.

He says:

The law forbids the use of race or ethnicity as the "sole" basis for questioning. So what are the other telltale indicators? ...Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law, looked flustered when asked during a news conference the obvious question of how illegal immigrants might be identified... Yet Brewer has ordered Arizona police to be trained in the warning signs of illegality -- signs that she cannot describe. There is a reason no Arizona official has publicly detailed these standards -- because the descriptions would sound like racial stereotyping. And probably would be.

Bear in mind that the preceding appears in an article promoting border enforcement, which would be done by the Border Patrol and other agencies such as ICE. Those and similar groups have decades of experience at being able to tell illegal aliens from citizens and legal immigrants and visitors, and all without the legal armagedon that Gerson concern trolls about. No doubt there will be a few cases of local yahoo cops crossing the line, but with the proper guidelines and training - something that Brewer is developing - that can be mitigated.

Gerson ends with the false establishment take on Proposition 187; see my long discussion of Proposition 187.

Why Judge Andrew Napolitano's opinion of Arizona's immigration law is highly questionable - 04/24/10

Judge Andrew Napolitano is a libertarian, and thus we can assume he's wrong on most things. The latest instance occurred on yesterday's Neil Cavuto show on Fox News where he discussed Arizona's new immigration law [1] .

Meg Whitman spouts amnesty talking points (California governor candidate) - 10/29/09

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is apparently like a talking doll you might find on that site, except in this case she says pro-business, pro-massive/illegal immigration talking points. Speaking at the border (link):

[She said] it is “simply not practical” to deport the estimated 12.5 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States. (note: see deportations false choice)

The candidate, 53, said the solution is to find a mechanism that allows them to live here legally. "Can we get a fair program where people stand at the back of the line (note: see immigration line), they pay a fine, they do some things that would ultimately allow a path to legalization?" she asked. (note: see comprehensive immigration reform for some of the many downsides)

Whitman also urged tougher measures against those who hire undocumented workers, and said that as governor "I would be an advocate . . . for the people of California to make sure we really do secure this border." (note: see secure the border)

...[in the past she's] said that had she lived in California in 1994, she would have voted against Proposition 187... Yesterday, Whitman reiterated her opposition to "sanctuary cities"...

Andrew Rosenthal /NYT melting down: lies about opponents; defends MALDEF; wrong about Saenz? - 03/23/09

Andrew Rosenthal - editorial page editor of the New York Times - continues his slow-motion melt-down in "Obama Flinches on Immigration" (link).

Thomas Saenz of MALDEF is new DOJ civil rights division chief (Villaraigosa) - 02/24/09

Per the Los Angeles Daily Journal (reblogged by the WSJ here), the new head of the civil rights division at the Department of Justice is Thomas Saenz.

For about a dozen years, Saenz worked as an attorney for the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and lately he was of counsel to the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.

Needless to say, the ACLU cheered the news:

"I don’t think the president or attorney general could make a better selection," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California. "He's a throwback to the great civil rights attorney pioneers, like Thurgood Marshall." ...Rosenbaum praised Saenz’s work challenging the legality of voter measures, ranging from Proposition 187, the ballot initiative that sought to cut off social and education services to undocumented immigrants, to his work on the University of Michigan case challenging the legality of affirmative action in admissions.

Arnoldo Torres, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Latino outreach director - 11/21/06

The largely wrong and illogical article "Schwarzenegger gains among Latinos" by Aurelio Rojas will be featured here later, but for now consider this interesting snippet:

Proposition 187 news articles (187flashback) - 07/03/06

For future reference, the extended entry contains a few news articles from 1994 and 1995 concerning California's Proposition. Other articles will follow.

Note that Fabian Nunez is currently the Speaker of the California Assembly. While Nativo Lopez is fairly extremist, in the boycott case he was less extremist than Nunez.

Paper: Press-Enterprise, The (Riverside, CA)
Title: Prop. 187 sails to easy passage - The immigration measure fares
well in Riverside County.
Author: Jack Robinson
Date: November 9, 1994
Section: A SECTION
Page: A01

Bush uncovered: he doesn't know what country he runs - 04/04/06

The Los Angeles Times' offers a four(!)-screener from Peter Wallsten entitled "Immigrant Issues Are Personal for Bush" (link).

I believe the best way to characterize it is as a lame attempt to further divide Bush from his base. The subtext of the article is that the latter are opposed to illegal immigration because - quite unlike Bush - they're opposed to Hispanics or Mexicans.

Is the Illinois GOP making sense? - 08/03/04

The Illinois GOP is continuing their fervent search for a competitor to Barack Obama. At post time, they have not yet considered my suggestion that they consider Chitown institution Bozo, but give them time.

Meanwhile, the latest desperate plan from the Illinois GOP is to convince one-time presidential candidate and two-time senatorial candidate Alan Keyes to move from Maryland to Illinois and run against Barack Obama: "GOP wooing Keyes to take on Obama". Not a bad plan, but wouldn't the second place finisher in the primary be a more natural choice? He does, after all, already live in Illinois and the GOP would be spared relocation expenses. Oh, I forgot. Jim Oberweis is against illegal immigration, and that just won't do.

Just in case, this is what Alan Keyes said back in 1996:

We should enforce the immigration laws. I support Prop 187 style legislation to enforce the distinction between legal and illegal immigration. I also support revamping the immigration laws to put more emphasis on allowing people in who have economic skills and are committed to eventual citizenship. I do not support a ban on immigration however, and in this I disagree with people like Pat Buchanan. America represents a hope for people all over the world, and we should not slam the door of that hope in the face of people today. Regulate the flow of immigrants to protect our quality of life and cultural cohesion, but don't ban it, which I believe is against the tradition of the country.

Not that bad of a position, as long as he still holds it and is able to fit that position in with the cheap-labor-lobby-supporting GOP "leadership."

However, for a cautionary tale, try to guess who said the following quote from 2000:

"America is a nation of immigrants; legal immigration is good for America and for those who come here seeking freedom and opportunity. As Governor of a border state, I know firsthand the great richness and benefits that legal immigrants with different cultures, history and traditions bring to America. I support increasing the number of H-1B visas to help meet America's need for more high-tech workers, and I support expanding the H-2A temporary agricultural workers program so that willing workers can help meet America's labor needs. I oppose illegal immigration. The federal government must improve its enforcement of our borders."

That quote isn't from Keyes. It's from George W. Bush, and we know how that worked out.

So, Keyes wouldn't be that bad as long as he holds the same position as before and he's able to avoid being corrupted by the GOP "leadership."

UPDATE: "Illinois GOP Asks Keyes To Run For Senate". He won't decide until Sunday, August 9th. And, there's that little matter of getting money out of the GOP.

Boxer foes court Bush, but oppose immigration plan - 03/01/04

From the San Diego Union Tribune (link):
The four candidates seeking the GOP nomination to run for the U.S. Senate [generally agree with Bush except] on one issue - President Bush's plan to allow millions of illegal immigrants to have temporary legal status - the candidates have been willing to openly criticize the president.

...As a group, they've taken a tougher stance on immigrants than the president, reflecting a split in the Republican Party between hard-liners and those wishing to accommodate illegal immigrants and their employers.

...[Proposition 187] - passed but later overturned in court - soured relations between Republicans and Latino voters for years.

By contrast, Bush, while governor of Texas, courted Latinos, enjoying good relations with voters and Mexican government officials. [NOTE: Lonewacko suggests googling "Bandar Bush" for an example from another country.]

Bush said his plan, announced last month, would make U.S. laws "more rational and humane" by allowing immigrants with a job to have a three-year renewable work permit.

Under the plan, the immigrant gets a temporary worker card allowing him to travel back and forth to his home country.

...Kaloogian called the president's immigration plan unworkable because it will encourage more immigration... [Kaloogian opposes Bush's plan, but wants to support Bush on other matters...]

...[Toni Casey] opposes the president's plan because she believes it amounts to amnesty for illegal immigrants, and prefers a guest-worker program instead.

..."I compliment the president for bringing the issue up, but I don't think the measure fits California," [Bill Jones] said.

...[Rosario] Marin said she opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants...

...Republican analyst Allan Hoffenblum said the division between the Senate candidates and Bush reflects some anger against immigrants in California.

"I think you saw candidates playing to their audience," he said after a debate at the state Republican convention earlier this month in Burlingame.

He also said that hard-liners might be on the rise within a Republican Party that has tried for years to win back Latino voters turned off by Proposition 187 in 1994.

"Some of us said we thought we learned our lesson in 1994," he said. "But now some hard-core immigrant-bashers are creeping back."
First of all, Rosario Marin is indeed opposed to amnesty. However, she supports the Bush/Fox Amnesty, because she doesn't think it's amnesty. In other words, while she might have problems with Bush's plan, she generally supports it. I've included several quotes in the extended entry supporting my contention; click 'MORE' directly below to read them.

As for the article itself, I've bolded places where the word "immigrant" or "immigration" should have either been preceded by that other word "illegal" or should not have been personalized (i.e., "illegal immigration" should have been used instead of "immigrant.") Some of those instances might not be the reporter's or editor's fault.

I also find the section headings a bit "interesting:" "Bashing immigration Various ideas" and "Rise of hard-liners Former Mexican." Huh?

Also, contrary to what Allan Hoffenblum or the CW states, Proposition 187 was initially supported by Latinos, believe it or not. The problem was a) lies told by the opposition, and b) anti-immigrant messages from its proponents. The problem would appear not to have been 187 itself so much as the selling efforts of both sides. See this:
In 1994, the campaign for Proposition 187, the anti- illegal-immigrant ballot initiative in California, degenerated into a racially charged referendum on the state's demographic evolution. While early polls indicated the heavily American-born Latino electorate didn't feel much solidarity with illegal immigrants, a growing belief that the initiative's supporters were not distinguishing between illegal and legal immigrants - or foreign- and American-born Latinos - led Latino voters to soundly reject the measure. But it still passed.
Allan Hoffenblum and others have learned the wrong message from 187.

Click 'MORE' directly below to see the Marin coverage where she supports the Bush/Fox Amnesty:

A look at how Marin stands on some key issues (link):
IMMIGRATION REFORM -- Supports Bush efforts to reform immigration but said, "Before I would support legislation involving any of the ideas he has proposed, I would require that we dedicate the resources and personnel necessary to securing our borders." Calls on Mexico to do its part in securing the border. "Mexico must help us to secure our common border on its side to stop illegal immigration."
Boxer Gets Backing From Latino Group in Primary (link):
she received glowing introductions from state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) and Los Angeles City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa [NOTE: both are former members of the racial separatist organization MEChA -LW]
Race for Boxer's U.S. Senate seat subdued (link):
Marin, who came to the United States from Mexico as a teen-ager, strongly supports President Bush's plan to create a guest worker program for immigrants now in the country illegally. Kaloogian has repeatedly attacked the president's proposal. Jones and Casey also oppose it, but less vociferously.
Senate candidate Marin blames Mexico for illegal immigration (link):
Former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, one of four Republican candidates challenging Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, said Thursday that economic and legal problems in Mexico were primarily to blame for this country's "failed immigration policy."

Marin, a Mexican immigrant, called on leaders of that country to stimulate the economy of Mexico by restructuring its tax system, encouraging private investment and funding $50 billion in repairs to its national power grid...

Valerie Walston, spokeswoman for Republican senatorial candidate and former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, criticized Marin for failing to address key issues closer to home such as the granting of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
A fighting chance against Boxer (link):
On immigration, Messrs. Jones and Kaloogian oppose President Bush's recent proposal for a kind of guest-worker program, but the program is supported by Ms. Marin. Mr. Jones said the Bush administration "has not protected the border." Mr. Kaloogian wants to stop illegal immigrants sending money back to their home countries by requiring banks to check for "the proper identification" - a matter we believe is separate from the immigration issue.

Ms. Marin supports President Bush's guest-worker program and insists that critics are wrong in calling it an amnesty program. "Some of the candidates want to trash our president," she said. "I want to help our president." She also favors prodding Mexico to reform its anti-business policies to encourage job growth there so immigrants feel less compelled to go north.
Marin Draws a Contrast to Past GOP Candidates (link):
Marin is the only one of the candidates to support Bush's immigrant guest-worker plan, which has been criticized by some Republicans as a faulty "amnesty" policy. Latinos, on the other hand, criticize Marin for being blindly loyal to the president.

"She makes a good house Mexican for the Republicans," read a mass e-mail by Steven J. Ybarra, a Democratic National Committee official...

Marin, occasionally looking up from her printed remarks, called Bush's guest-worker plan a good first step, but she spent most of her time criticizing Mexico for not doing enough to stem the flow of illegal immigration.

Afterward, Marin was repeatedly questioned about whether she backs legislation that would withhold federal aid to states that approve driver's licenses for illegal immigrants...

The reporter persisted. Marin called the legislation a "Band-Aid" approach but did not give her stance.