Californians on Immigration Reform

March 29, 2013

By Raoul Lowery Contreras

In 1994, millions of California voters voted for an amateurishly written unconstitutional hysterical piece of legal offal named Proposition 187. It would have forced hospitals to turn away American citizen child patients if both parents couldn’t prove their legal residency; it would have expelled American citizen children from school if BOTH parents weren’t in-country legally and would have done so without legal hearings, appeals or even lawsuits and civil injunctions against witch hunting school clerks that were empowered to decide who was or wasn’t legal.

Proposition 187 won by a margin of a million votes.

It didn’t win one vote that counted, however. Federal District Judge Marianna Pfaelzer threw out all the immigration sections of the voter-approved “law” because it created a “state scheme of immigration” control that violated the United States Constitution.

That defeat started a long string of legal defeats for other attempts to hijack immigration enforcement or even definition written by lawyers for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) principal among them, a paid hack of the country’s biggest and most notorious bigot, John Tanton; the paid hack’s name: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The most famous court defeat so far, of course, is the mighty legal squash by the U.S. Supreme Court of Arizona’s SB 1070, another Kobach masterpiece.

The 1994 victory of the racist and illegal Proposition 187 has been thrown up as a true reflection of how Americans feel about illegal immigration. Until now, that is.

The Los Angeles Times published a new California poll – the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll that turns what happened in 1994 on its head. In fact, illegal alien opponents have used the 94 election results several times to try and resurrect new propositions – “Sons of 187” along the same line but have never been able to get them on the ballot for lack of signatures and now we know why thanks to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Two thirds of Californians polled think the present immigration system is broken. One in five – 19% — think that illegally present people should have to return home, only one in five. Two thirds of respondents think there should be a path to citizenship for those here today. Ten percent think they should be allowed to stay but not have a path to citizenship. 75% support the proposal by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” that preempted President Obama’s so-called “proposal.”

The Los Angeles Times: “”There’s really not much of a debate in California about immigration anymore, and there may not even be a national debate,” said Drew Lieberman of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm that conducted the poll with the Republican firm American Viewpoint. “It’s no longer a partisan or racial issue for Californians.”

In a profound display of change in attitude among Republicans who now support immigration reform, Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, with whom this writer debated the subject of illegal immigration when he was Governor Pete Wilson’s (Mr. 187) Press Secretary, told the Times “that California Republicans live in a much more multicultural society than party members elsewhere, ‘so the lives they live every day and the people they see are probably the main reason that their feelings are different than their national counterparts.”

An important percentage of those polled – 73% — support a guest worker program.

81% “White” voters support a path to citizenship as do 86% of Latino voters. 88% of Democrats support a path to citizenship as do 76% of Republicans and 83% of Independents.

For immigration reform supporters, there is only one word to describe the poll’s results: WOW!

This poll shows a 180-degree sea change in California public opinion. Whites, Blacks and Asians join the 40% of California that is Hispanic in supporting immigration reform with a path to citizenship for those here “without papers,” as the saying goes, as well as a guest worker program that by itself will solve the border problem.

Now, if only Congress will lay an immigration reform bill on the President’s desk.

Contreras’ new book, COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM – 2013 is available at

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