Politics, activism, families: How Prop. 187 is still being felt 20 years later

OCRegister.com — There’s a ghost haunting next week’s elections in California. It’s been there 20 years. Proposition 187 – a measure Californians overwhelmingly voted into law on Nov. 8, 1994 – was never enacted. The law would have denied public services, including public education and non-emergency health care, to immigrants living in the state illegally. This summer, state legislators officially wiped it from the books, calling it the “most mean spirited and un-American” measure in the state’s history. But the legacy of Prop. 187 lives on. And the people initially targeted – Latinos in general and undocumented immigrants in particular – are among the biggest beneficiaries. “In the long run, it did us a lot of good,” said Amin David, a longtime Latino advocate and founder of Los Amigos of Orange County. “It sparked an ignition, a fire, to do what we wanted to do but were not able to do,” he added. “And, boy, it took us many years, but what a turnaround.” This year, Latinos are expected to surpass non-Hispanic whites as California’s single largest demographic. The number of Latino legislators in California has more than doubled since Prop. 187 passed. And in Sacramento, those elected officials are pushing through a long list of new laws to aid the immigrant community, including those here illegally. [Read More]