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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    What does California’s 1994 immigration battle tell us about the immigration battle

    What does California’s 1994 immigration battle tell us about the US’s immigration battles today?

    Pro and anti Prop. 187 activists are separated by a police line during a rally outside the Federal Building in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 10, 1996. AP Photo/Frank Wiese

    By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
    POSTED: 02/11/17, 4:21 PM PST | UPDATED: 9 SECS AGO

    Los Angeles Police office detains an unidentified protester during a rally onside the federal building in the Westwood section of Los Angeles on Saturday, August 10, 1996. Police separated pro and ant-Prop. 187 activists after heated word exchanges and occasional shoving incidents.AP Photo/Frank Wiese

    In 1994, debate over immigration, especially of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, nearly tore California apart.

    Back then, the state had an estimated 1.3 million undocumented immigrants and was already facing economic challenges as the federal government shut down military bases as part of the Clinton administration’s “Reinventing Government” initiative.

    “There was really a perfect storm going on in the 1990s, between the base closures, businesses going to other states and the immigrant population coming into the state,” said Marcia Godwin, an associate professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.

    That year, former Monrovia assemblyman Dick Mountjoy introduced Proposition 187, the Save Our State initiative, proposing to create a state-run immigration system and deny most public benefits, including K-12 education, to undocumented immigrants.

    Nearly six out of 10 Californians voted in favor of it

    Now, after President Donald Trump temporarily blocked the entry of most residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries — an executive order halted in the courts — issued another order to deny federal funds to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to aid federal immigration officials, and talks about making good on his campaign promise of building a “big beautiful wall” along the Mexican border, experts say California’s experience 23 years ago may foreshadow the national discussion today.

    “Given the size of the immigrant community in California, we’re on the leading edge of the debate,” said Jack Pitney, a professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College. “Many communities in the United States are now seeing large numbers of immigrants where they didn’t see them before, and that tends to change attitudes.”

    Between 2007 and 2014, the nation’s Hispanic population only grew by about 2.8 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. But the fastest growth was in regions not traditionally thought of as Hispanic centers, including the South and North Dakota.

    “What you have in other states is definitely an increase in diversity and, through the recession, an increase in the number of undocumented workers, as well,” Godwin said.

    “The number of undocumented workers in North Carolina went from 25,000 in 1990 to something over 300,000 today.”

    Nationally, there are about 8 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center, a number that’s been stable since about 2009.

    “The kind of demographic changes we saw in California are not going to occur in the United States for at least a few more decades,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of Political Science at UC, Riverside. “The baseline Hispanic population of California was much higher by the 1980s than it is today in Georgia or parts of the Midwest.”

    Proposition 187 was met with legal challenges almost immediately after it passed. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against its implementation just three days after Election Day 1994. In 1999, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis withdrew the state’s appeals to the legal challenges, and Proposition 187 was dead.

    Californians’ attitude toward immigration has softened. Today, more than 80 percent of them support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

    “Over time, it’s likely there will be larger acceptance, because immigrants tend to assimilate,” Pitney said, in part, because “they tend to marry native-born residents.”

    Immigration debates aren’t new.

    “Over the course of American history, many immigrant groups that were considered ‘alien’ in the nasty sense are just now part of the American fabric. Italians, for instance, were long considered an ‘other,’ ” Pitney said. “But that’s going to take quite awhile.”

    Whether Americans’ attitudes will follow Californians’ remains to be seen.

    “We might see a similar shift where you see a peak of polarization and then some kind of tipping point, politically,” Godwin said. “But it’s really hard to project that onto every state in the union.”

    Godwin thinks some swing states, and even some GOP strongholds, are likely to follow California’s path as their demographics shift.

    “Texas and Florida are the ones to watch, politically, because their demographic shift comes closest to what California has experienced,” she said.

    In the meantime, Godwin cautions the Republican Party not to overplay its hand. She pointed to a 1994 gubernatorial campaign ad by Republican governor Pete Wilson, which showed people crossing the border from Mexico, and touted Wilson’s sending the California National Guard to the border to combat illegal immigration.

    “It really created lasting hostility to the Republican Party. It was not just seen as being negative to illegal immigrants but as being racist against Hispanics,” she said.

    The 1994 California GOP approach didn’t just turn off Hispanic voters, “it alienated not only Latino voters but white moderate voters as well,” Ramakrishnan said.

    John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, thinks lasting damage may have already been done to the Republican Party, similar to the effect Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign had on the black vote. Goldwater, who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, is often blamed for black voters turning against the Republican Party, despite more than 80 percent of Republicans in Congress voting in favor of it. Fifty-two years later, 80 percent of black voters voted Democratic in the November 2016 presidential election.

    “It’s pretty clear to me that what the Republican Party is doing is pretty much guaranteeing an overwhelming anti-Republican vote out of a community that the Republicans have clearly decided to alienate,” Husing said. “And once you lose it, you don’t get it back. That’s very clear in California.”

    As of Oct. 24, 2016, only 26 percent of the 19.4 million Californians registered to vote declared themselves to be Republicans, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. In 1994, 37.2 percent of the state’s 14.3 million voters were registered Republicans.

    “The party has almost been destroyed in the state,” Husing said.

    Republican strategists have been aware of this problem for a while. In 2013, GOP leaders, including current White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, created an “autopsy” report after the losing 2012 presidential election. It called on the party to become more inclusive toward minorities. Trump was not a fan, asking on Twitter if the GOP had a “death wish.”

    “Trump proved you could win the nomination without moderating his tone,” Ramakrishnan said. “Trump not only ignored that playbook, but he used the antithesis of that playbook and won.”

    Husing thinks it’s now too late for the GOP, even if they win the current battles.

    “Realistically, I think for the Republican Party, the war is over,” he said.

    In the meantime, those national demographic changes didn’t happen fast enough to swing the 2016 presidential election to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, as some had predicted.

    “America has changed enormously since the early ’90s and the changes are going to keep going on,” Pitney said. “It’s not going to go as fast as Democrats read into it. They were expecting a thrill ride on a glacier, but glaciers are powerful in the long run.”


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    It's not too late for Republicans in California. You need to get more people back to the party, you need to follow the Trump Agenda and start telling people the truth and start signing them up. Californians hate what's going on, but many may feel defeated, so go with the flow, let them see the Trump Train, and they'll be jumping on faster than you can say Trump Train. Californians are Americans, they love our country, they want what's best for our nation, their state and all of our citizens, same as the rest of US. Sure, different states have their own unique characteristics, their own ways, but that's on local and personal issues, not on national issues.

    But, California is like the new Alamo, they're surrounded, they need help and our help is on the way!! Do you part to the best of your ability, but the mess in California called illegal immigration is on its way out and will soon be over.
    Marci and Beezer like this.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    GOP numbers dip in California as more voters ‘Decline to State’ party preference

    By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
    POSTED: 03/09/16, 12:16 AM PST | UPDATED: ON 03/09/2016

    Even as California’s population is growing, the rate of voter registration is down, and more Californians are declaring themselves independent of the traditional two-party system, a shift that’s come mostly at the expense of the Republican Party.

    California Secretary of State Alex Padilla recently released a report on voter registration as of Jan. 5, showing that 70.2 percent of eligible Californians are registered to vote. That’s down almost 2 percent from the same period four years ago, but higher than comparable points in 2008, 2007 and 1999.
    Fewer of those voters are sticking with the Grand Old Party:

    Only 27.6 percent of voters, or about 4.76 million Californians, are registered as Republicans, down almost 3 percent from 5.17 million voters four years ago. Democrats mostly held steady, dipping from 43.6 percent of the voters in 2012 to 43.1 percent today, for a total of 7.44 million Californians.

    During that four-year period, the number of eligible voters in the state grew from 23.6 million residents to 24.5 million, although the number of registered voters grew by only 231,123.

    But about 24 percent of voters have declared no party preference, up almost 3 percent — half a million voters — from four years ago.

    “It’s not surprising; it’s a continuation of a trend that’s been going on for over 20 years,”
    said Jack Pitney, professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College. “There really is not much reason to make a public declaration of their political preference.”

    That shift isn’t necessarily disaffected Republicans leaving the party, according to former San Bernardino County Republican chairman and county assessor Bill Postmus. They may have left California altogether.

    “Over the last 10 years, they estimate about 5 million residents have left California and have gone to states like Texas, Idaho, Arizona and Utah,” he said. “A lot of those are small business owners, leaving because of high regulation and taxes, going to more red states.”

    Pitney said the decline of the defense industry in California, which attracted right-leaning workers, also contributed.

    And those replacing the departing Californians tend to be less enamored of traditional parties, especially Republicans.

    “Millennials tend to be more independent,” Postmus said.

    “The GOP really needs to work on reaching out to millennials, because those are definitely our future.”

    Party leaders have plans in place to connect with those independent voters.

    “It’s been a trend for a while: People are more subject-loyal than they are party-loyal,” said San Bernardino County GOP chairman Curt Hagman.

    But the party is working to discern which issues voters care most about, he said, and speak to them on those issues.

    “We want to start talking about a larger spectrum of ideas and topics and not make people feel like they have to agree with all 50 points (of a platform) to be part of the party,” said Hagman, who also serves as the Fourth District supervisor on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “Most voters will have maybe one, two or three things that drive them to the poll.”

    Marcia Godwin, professor of public administration at the University of La Verne, also credits California’s new motor voter law, which registers motorists to vote by default. But it doesn’t necessarily get them to the polls.

    Despite the decline of registered Republicans, Jim Brulte, the head of the California GOP, has had some victories, picking up two seats in the Assembly to take away the Democrats’ super-majority there, as well as one seat in the state Senate.

    Brulte is “doing as good of a job as any human being can do,” Pitney said.

    How many Californians are registered as Republicans is ultimately less important to Hagman than if they vote Republican.

    “My goal is to get them to vote Republican, not necessarily to become a party member,” he said. “For me, it’s about changing the attitude of voters, and who they vote for. Then hopefully, I get them to support the party later.”

    Even in left-leaning Los Angeles County, Democrats make up less than half — barely — of the 4,834,496 voters registered. (A total of 6,165,987 adults in L.A. County are eligible to vote.)

    Of them, 49.95 percent of voters are registered Democrats, followed by 24.77 percent who have no party preference and 20.26 percent who are registered Republican. The remainder are split between the American Independent, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom and other minor political parties.

    In San Bernardino County, no one party holds the majority. Only 727,494 people out of the 1,290,994 eligible to vote are registered — 56.35 percent. Of those, 37.94 percent are registered Democratic, 34.35 percent are registered Republican and 22.35 percent have no preference. The remainder are split between the minor political parties.

    That split likely means good things for Democrats in this presidential election year, according to Godwin.

    “More Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are likely to vote in 2016,” she wrote. “That means that the modest Republican gains in the 2014 election could evaporate. We are also likely to see more Democrat versus Democrat races where Republicans can act as a swing block to elect the Democrat perceived as being more moderate.”

    The secretary of state would just like to see more Californians at the polls, whatever their affiliation, or lack thereof.

    “If the election were held today, over 7 million otherwise eligible Californians would be left on the sidelines,” Padilla is quoted as saying in a news release issued by his office.

    “Fortunately, there is still time to register to vote in the June 7 Presidential Primary Election.

    “Whether you’ve recently turned 18, become a new US citizen, or just want to vote for the first time — I urge Californians to register today.”

    Californians can register or update their registration information online at The deadline to register before the June 7 primary is May 23.

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