(Los Angeles Times) For Barbara Coe, everything changed the day she accompanied an elderly friend to an Orange County social services center in 1991.
"I walked into this monstrous room full of people, babies and little children all over the place, and I realized nobody was speaking English," the South Dakota native later told the Washington Post. "I was overwhelmed with this feeling: 'Where am I? What's happened here?'"
When she learned from a welfare counselor that immigrants who had entered the country illegally qualified for the same public benefits that had been denied her friend, a U.S. citizen, Coe began her journey from political neophyte to fiery crusader against the demographic tide that was transforming California.
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