PROPOSITION 187: Supporters Face Tough Battle With Hispanics
Supporters of Prop. 187, which would deny illegal immigrants social services and non-emergency medical care, are mobilizing to collect 900,000 voter signatures to place the measure once again on the Nov. 2000 ballot, this time in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment, the Orange County Register reports. Although approved by voters in 1994, the initiative was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court. Barbara Coe, chair of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, believes the new effort will succeed. She pointed to nationwide public opinion polls indicating support for "reforming immigration laws and fortifying U.S. borders." But this time around, Prop. 187 advocates are likely to face a much tougher fight from opponents, especially the Hispanic and Latino communities, which were moved to greater political awareness by the issue. The threat of Prop. 187 has prompted a "record number" of immigrants to seek citizenship and to vote. Activist Juan Manuel Ferreira explained, "People have woken up. ... They come to me and say, '... We have to demand our rights.' They've seen their futures threatened." Benny Diaz, Orange County District Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, vowed, "We are going to react more rapidly this time. This one is a proposition that we will be very prepared for" (Canto, 1/3).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.