proposition 187

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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...

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...

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 โ€œsimply not practicalโ€ 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...

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 donโ€™t think the president or attorney general could make a better selection," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of...

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...

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...