An unprecedented number of immigrants are being allowed into the U.S. today.
As a group, immigrants tend to vote overwhelmingly in favor of race-based programs
such as quotas, preferences and contracting set-asides. Immigrants also tend to vote
overwhelmingly Democratic! Is our immigration policy simply a cynical vote-buying
scheme by liberal Democrats? Overall, is this cynical policy in our nation's
[ General & Editorial ]
Prop. 187 ]
Illegal Immigrants to Receive Full
Protection of U.S. EEOC (10/26/99)
On Tue., Oct. 26, 1999 the controversial Latina head of the EEOC, Ida L. Castro, announced
that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will henceforth protect illegal
immigrants as if they were full U.S. citizens.
Ida Castro prefers to call them "victims of national origin discrimination", but
the fact is that they are criminals under U.S. Immigration Law. They don't pay
taxes, they don't vote, they are here illegally, and they take jobs from U.S. citizens and
from legal immigrants. Furthermore, the EEOC will not, as a matter of
policy, turn over these illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration authorities. (Several
Immigration Is Fueling Poverty
"Two new studies provide compelling evidence that, amid an unprecedented economic
boom, U.S. immigration policy is fueling an increase in poverty in the U.S. Both the Urban
Institute--a Washington-based think tank--and the federal General Accounting Office have
found exceptionally high rates of welfare dependence and poverty among immigrants and
newly naturalized citizens.
"The GAO report found that newly naturalized citizens use public assistance programs
in much greater numbers than the native born. ... In California, for instance, which is
home to the greatest number of immigrants, 23.7% of newly naturalized citizens are
receiving Medicaid benefits, compared with 8.2% of Californians as a whole. Nationally,
the price tag for providing public assistance just to those who acquired U.S. citizenship
during this period was $735 million.
"This information alone should be enough to lead our government to question our
immigration policy. But the GAO report raises another red flag that ought to be sounding
alarm bells in Congress: The number of people who became citizens in the fiscal year 1996
was triple the previous peak in the naturalization rate. It also coincided with changes in
federal welfare policy, which made noncitizens ineligible for many welfare programs. Thus,
it is fair to surmise that the stampede to become American citizens was not a sudden
outpouring of patriotism but rather motivated by immigrants' fear that they would lose
their government subsidies. But is this a motivation that is really in the long-term
interests of the nation?
"Rising poverty attributable to our immigration policy and the apparent surge in
naturalizations to retain eligibility for public assistance programs is a scenario that
the late Barbara Jordan cautioned against in her report to Congress as chair of the U.S.
Commission on Immigration Reform. Congresswoman Jordan, a Democrat from Texas, warned that
our failure to control illegal immigration and the lack of skills-based admission criteria
for most immigrants would inevitably lead to a new underclass in our society. She also
stressed that becoming an American ought to be an expression of commitment on the part of
immigrants to this country, not simply an affiliation of convenience.
"It is simply irrational to maintain an immigration policy that is contributing
mightily to the growth of poverty in our country and increasing the burdens on our social
welfare programs, and doing so during a period of prosperity and nearly full
employment." (LA Times 07/06/99 by Dan Stein)
187: Background and News
California's Prop. 187 sought to deny illegal immigrants most taxpayer-funded public
services. Under former Republican Governor Pete Wilson's tenure, California voters
overwhelmingly approved Prop. 187 in 1994 by 59% to 41%.
A federal judge tossed out the key provisions. (The former governor, Republican)
Pete Wilson appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit, assuming the case ultimately would be
decided by the Supreme Court. The appeal was, of course, filed in Wilson's official
capacity as Governor.
When Democrat Gray Davis became Governor he inherited Wilson's 9th Circuit appeal -- in
his official capacity as Governor. The 9th Circuit wanted to know whether Davis
wanted to proceed with Wilson's pro-187 court appeal, which still had not been resolved
when Davis assumed office.
A strange situation for the Latino-loyalist, pro-minority Democratic governor to find
himself in! Especially since Latinos and immigrant groups had strongly supported
Davis in the election.
Proposition 187 Recent News:
Davis Allows Appeal to Expire; 187 is Dead.
Messy Way to Settle Proposition 187 Dispute (07/30/99)
"GOVERNOR DAVIS' mediated settlement on Proposition 187 is hardly going to mollify
supporters of the 1994 anti-illegal immigration initiative. Nor will it completely mend
the rift and hard feelings with Democrats and Latinos who wanted him to drop the appeal
months ago. Davis, who opposed the voter initiative, yesterday announced that the state
and civil rights groups agreed to end a legal battle over the measure. He said the
agreement ``essentially embraces the spirit of Proposition 187.''
"Some of the landmark measure's provisions denying state benefits, such as
nonemergency health care, welfare and higher education, to undocumented immigrants will be
supplanted by federal measures, he said." (San Francisco Chronicle, Opinion,
Page A24, 07/30/99)
Prop. 187 mediation riles
Sub-head: "Critics say
the pact destroys faith in the initiative process."
"The settlement that voids most of California's landmark anti-illegal-immigration
initiative may bring a close to an era of ``divisive politics,'' but it may have a
significant impact on voter confidence in the initiative process.
"Even as supporters of Proposition 187 were looking for ways to legally attack the
court-sanctioned mediation that scuttled the 1994 initiative, many voters were voicing
disgust with the politically motivated mediation process. ``Don't ask me to vote
anymore,'' an angry couple, Colleen and Jeff Nobil, wrote in an e-mail. ``It is a waste of
my time to hurry from work, wait in line, place my vote and then have it ignored. This
system has created apathy.''
"That is exactly the reaction former Gov. Pete Wilson, who spearheaded Proposition
187, said he expected when his successor, Democrat Gray Davis, moved the case behind
closed doors. ``The process has implications even beyond the importance of Prop. 187,''
said Wilson, who filed the appeal when a federal judge ruled most of the initiative
unconstitutional. ``Whatever side you're on in an issue, it seems to me you ought to be
afforded your day in court.''" (San Jose Mercury News 07/30/99 by Hallye Jordan and
Davis Won't Appeal Prop. 187 Ruling, Ending Court Battles
"Attorneys for Gov. Gray Davis and civil rights organizations have reached an
agreement to end the litigation surrounding Proposition 187, effectively killing the
landmark 1994 ballot referendum that targeted illegal immigrants and became a pivotal
juncture in California's political life.
"Davis has agreed not to appeal an earlier federal court ruling that held much of the
initiative to be unconstitutional. The agreement, which is expected to be filed
today with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, almost certainly will
prevent the case from going to the U.S. Supreme Court, said lawyers on both sides of the
"Proposition 187, approved by nearly 60% of California voters, became a national
symbol of anger about illegal immigration. Court battles, however, blocked most of
its provisions from being enforced. The deal seems sure to ignite additional
controversy, since it permanently bars the enactment of the ballot measure's core
provisions--those preventing illegal immigrants from attending public schools and
receiving social services and subsidized health care, according to the lawyers."
Davis to drop Prop. 187 appeal
"Gov. Gray Davis plans to abandon the state's defense of Proposition 187, killing
most of the divisive landmark anti-illegal-immigrant measure.
"The decision, which Davis is expected to announce today, reverses his earlier stance
that as governor he was obligated to appeal a court ruling declaring unconstitutional the
controversial 1994 voter-approved initiative. Davis had opposed the measure and also had
promised during his campaign to end wedge-issue politics. Some of the state's most
prominent Latino politicians, including Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, had urged Davis to drop
the appeal months ago and criticized him bitterly when he decided to ask the federal
appeals court to mediate a settlement with the proposition's opponents."
Law Left With Little to Enforce
"Gov. Gray Davis and opponents of Proposition 187 will announce an agreement today
that all but ends the legal challenges to a 1994 voter-approved initiative that barred
education and other government services for illegal immigrants. All that will be left of
the measure that provoked a political firestorm among immigrants will be a state law that
outlaws manufacture and use of false documents to conceal illegal immigration status.
"The announcement will be made at separate press conferences this morning in Los
Angeles by the Democratic governor and lawyers representing opponents of the ballot
Deal struck to end
litigation over immigrant aid
"Gov. Gray Davis has struck a deal with civil rights organizations, nullifying the
major provisions of a controversial ballot measure that sought to limit services to
illegal immigrants. Davis agreed not to appeal a federal court ruling that held much of
the voter-approved initiative Proposition 187 to be unconstitutional, Davis' spokesman
Michael Bustamante said today. The deal was expected to be approved today by the U.S. 9th
"Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Proposition 187 was endorsed by 60
percent of California voters in 1994, but most of its provisions have gone unenforced due
to court challenges. Davis opposed the measure but had to decide whether to defend it in
court after becoming governor. He said previously he had no intention of enforcing that
part of the proposition denying education to undocumented schoolchildren."