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A group of immigration-reform activists hopes to restore some of the provisions of California’s ill-fated Proposition 187 by passing a new initiative in November.
According to organizers, the Save our State initiative would once again enact certain provisions of the proposition that attempted to bar illegal aliens living in the state from receiving taxpayer-supported services. Proposition 187, approved in 1994 by nearly 60 percent of California voters, was essentially killed when, after a lengthy court battle, then-Gov. Gray Davis dropped an appeal filed earlier by the state.
Since the crux of the court argument against Prop 187 focused on the issue of denying public school to illegal aliens, the new proposition drops the education element and prohibits only other public benefits, such as welfare, from going to illegal aliens.
“Federal law allows us to deny public benefits to illegals, if we want to. But we’re required to pass a law to say so. This new measure does exactly that,” says the Save 187 website.
The initiative would require all government workers processing applications for public benefits to verify the immigration status of applicants.
In addition, the proposition prohibits the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. As WorldNetDaily reported, though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger repealed a new law to grant licenses to illegals when he took office, he now is negotiating with Democrats to pass a new law granting the privilege.
Organizers need to gather 598,000 valid signatures by April 15 to qualify the initiative for the November ballot.
Save 187 says it has no paid staff to administer signature-gathering efforts.
“The Internet is the principle tool that we have,” say organizers. “We don’t have any paid staff; we’re all volunteers, so we need as many people as possible downloading the petition and giving it out to others.”
Besides preventing illegal aliens from obtaining driver’s licenses, the initiative prohibits the use of “matricular consular” cards and other foreign documents intended for use by illegal aliens in the U.S.
The text of the petition says if passed, the initiative could save the state $100 million a year in public benefits that would not be dispersed to illegal aliens.
In addition, part of the proposal requires state and local officials to comply with federal immigration law.
“It will require the state to comply with federal immigration laws and to follow federal immigration polices designed to discourage illegal immigration,” the group says. “Its qualification for the ballot will also begin a national dialogue on immigration and force the politicians to respond to the problem on our borders. Requiring California’s public agencies to obey the laws already on the books is a very moderate approach to a very serious problem, but it’s a good first step!”