Proposition 187 Essay

This essay has a total of 908 words and 5 pages.

proposition 187

In 1994 Californians passed Proposition 187, also known as the "Save Our State"
initiative. Fifty-nine percent of California voters passed Proposition 187. The
proposition called for denying illegal immigrants public social services, publicly-funded
health care services (unless emergency under federal law), and public school education at
elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. The proposition also called for various
state and local agencies to report persons that were suspected illegal immigrants to the
California Attorney General and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The California Attorney General would have been required to transmit reports to the United
States Immigration and Naturalization Service and maintain records of such reports. The
proposition also made it a felony to manufacture, distribute, sell or use false
citizenship or residence documents.

Californians who favored the proposition, believed that their states' economic problems
were largely due to the amount of illegal immigrants that have come to California from
Mexico. Californians also blamed illegal immigration for the increase in medical costs, as
well as the lower standards of education. Those who favored Proposition 187 claimed that
the "illegal immigration invasion" would ultimately "save our state". Many believe that
welfare, medical care and educational benefits, are what attracts illegal immigrants to
California and the United States. Proponents claim that because these "magnets" draw
illegal immigrants to the state, access to such services should be cut-off. They also
claimed that opposition to the initiative is funded mainly by special interests, which
reap the benefits of providing services to illegal immigrants, such as public unions and
medical clinics. Proponents also believed that the federal government had been derelict
in controlling the borders, so that responsibility fell upon the state itself, to "send a
strong message that California will no longer tolerate the abandonment of the duty of our

Opponents to Proposition 187 believed that the question is whether or not to provide
public services to illegal immigrants, but rather what would be done to "beef up
enforcement at the border". While opponents agreed that illegal immigration is a real
problem, they say that 187 is not the solution. Not addressed in the initiative is border
enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Financially, they
argued that combining the new costs of the verification requirement as required in the
initiative, would be in the billions. They had also pointed out the public health risk of
denying illegal immigrants basic services, such as immunizations, which help control
communicable diseases.

California approved Proposition 187 in 1994, but federal courts declared most of it
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