The Golden State: Not for Everyone

I.     Summary
      The 1994 Proposition 187, nicknamed the “Save Our State” (SOS) initiative, was a measure that denied illegal immigrants access to virtually all public services. Although opponents of the initiative greatly outweighed the proponents in financial contributions, efforts by Candidate for Gov. Kathleen Brown in the November election alongside many prominent supporters from numerous health, law enforcement, religious and educational institutions resulted unsuccessful. Gov. Pete Wilson made supporting for Prop 187 the cornerstone of his successful re-election and financed his campaign to appeal the majority of actual voters—the older, whiter, more conservative population. In the November 8, 1994 election the initiative passed by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent. Soon after, immediate opposition to the initiative arose in numerous sectors of California, especially minorities. Court battles relentlessly continued questioning the constitutionality of the initiative until its measures were put to an end by the courts when Gov. Gray Davis took office in 1999.
II.     Proposed Policy
    The provisions of Prop 187 made illegal aliens ineligible for public social services, health services and public education. It also required various state and local agencies to report persons who are suspected illegal aliens to the State Attorney General and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. And it also made it a felony to manufacture, distribute, sell or use false citizenship or resident documents .  
III.     Major Campaign Contributors and Supporters
Contributions to the campaign against Prop 187 actually outweighed the proponents by millions, yet the measure still passed by a wide margin. The report on Financing California’s Statewide Ballot Measures, 1994 Primary and General Elections   indicates that $860,432 was received in support of the Prop 187 effort and $3,214,255 was received from its opponents. Although there was so much financial support...