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A new version of proposal 187 surges

Por Julia Astrid Enriquez
QUEPASA.COM

12/9/03

Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., December 9, 2003 (quepasa.com) -

Though ten years distant, proposal 187, with its anti-immigrant sentiment, is reborn in California through a campaign to reform the state constitution that would force public employees to denounce undocumented persons.

An organization called "Save our State" S.O.S., led by Ron Prince, got the green light to begin collecting signatures to ensure these reforms will be on the ballots in the 2004 general election.

In comparison to law 187, the constitutional reform does not refer directly to children of undocumented persons in public schools, the initiative does not ask that health and education services for undocumented immigrants be rescinded; nevertheless, Prince has pointed out that part "would come later" through legal suits.

Law 187 promoted in 1994 by ex-governor of California, Pete Wilson, was restricted by a federal court for being contradictory to federal legislation; Gray Davis, prior head of state, revoked it upon taking office in 1998, yet it was publicly supported by the state's present governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A total of 600 thousand signatures will be enough to pass the reforms in the 2004 elections, coincidentally, on the tenth anniversary of the approval of Proposition 187. In addition, the measure would impose restrictions to Consular Registration that is gaining more acceptance in banks in many states around the Nation.

Signatures must be delivered before an April 29, 2004 deadline, for their certification three weeks later; the State Secretary will have until June 24 to approve its inclusion on the electoral ballot.

Those backing the reform find that they are encouraged by the recent repeal of SB-60, which would grant divers' licenses to more than two million undocumented persons who live in the state; an annulment that was approved last December 4 by Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile, some 400 Latinos began on Saturday the first of a series of marches intended to boycott the governor's intentions.

Latino students, professors, clergymen and undocumented workers protested against the repeal of the Law that would grant drivers' licenses to undocumented persons and against the renewed version of 187.

Demonstrators will meet with other California groups promoting a boycott for next Friday, December 12, a day on which they plan Latinos will not purchase anything or go to work or eat at restaurants.

California Latino residents number 12 million, making up 45% of the state's Hispanic labor force, according to the coordinator of the anti-Schwarzenegger boycott, Nativo López.

These demonstrations of rejection could grow to a degree that they obstruct the San Ysidro border crossing point, the one with most traffic between Mexico and the United States.

The coin is up in the air, and now it is up to the Latinos to go to the polls and massively reject the reforms.

QUEPASA.COM

translator M. B. Durazo