Brown Signs Bill Cutting Language on Undocumented Immigrants
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill (SB 396) that deletes provisions of a ballot measure approved 20 years ago that aimed to withhold services -- such as education and health care programs -- from undocumented immigrants, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Siders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/16).
In 1994, California voters approved Proposition 187, which sought to establish a citizenship screening system that would exclude undocumented immigrants from state-run education and health care programs. California was the first state to pass legislation dealing with immigration, which was traditionally a federal issue. The new law was challenged in a lawsuit and found unconstitutional by a federal court.
The state gave up appealing the ruling in 1999. However, the law remains on the books in California.
Details of SB 396
SB 396, by state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), removes passages from Prop. 187 from California's education, health and safety, and welfare codes. The measure is largely symbolic, as the law previously was overturned by the courts.
The bill garnered support from California Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assembly member Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), chair of the state's Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (California Healthline, 6/5).
In a statement on Monday, de León said the bill's passage "closes a dark chapter in our state's history and brings dignity and respect to the national immigration debate," adding, "California is leading the country integrating immigrants into society and recognizing them as contributors to our economy."
Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Brown, said the bill's passage "is a long overdue fix to a law that has no place on the state's books" (McGreevy/Willon, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 9/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.