Saturday, February 13, 2016

ICYMI: Gov. Wilson Would Do Prop. 187 All Over Again

Former San Diego Mayor, US Senator, and Governor Pete Wilson shared with a public group and audience that he had no regrets about Prop. 187, which would have prevented illegal aliens from getting public benefits.

The initiative passed by a 58% vote in 1994, only to be thrown out by a rogue judge--who should have been recalled just like Rose Bird in 1986.

The OC Register reports:

Oct. 15, 2015 Updated Oct. 16, 2015 7:27 a.m.

Former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, the most prominent advocate for a 1994 ballot measure aimed at eliminating public benefits to undocumented immigrants, said Thursday that he would “absolutely” give the initiative the same level of support if he were to do it over.

We need this kind of civic courage once again in the state of California.

The measure, Proposition 187, is considered the turning point for the state’s growing Latino electorate fleeing the GOP and a key reason Democrats have become so dominant in the state, where they hold every statewide office and control both state legislative chambers. The measure passed, but was then ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court.

Is this really true? It's time to do more investigating. 

I have met a number of Hispanic voters in California, and they do not support illegal immigration, amnesty, or public taxpayer-funded benefits to illegals.

None. The demographics are changing in the Golden State, but the culture norms of ten or fifteen years ago or also shifting. Individuals of one or another minority status do not approve of the economic and cultural malaise propped up by the liberal Democratic hordes.

Wilson said he never had any intent to target Latinos as a group, and that opponents misled the public to gain political advantage from the issue.

I agree with this sentiment. Stopping welfare could never target one race or ethnic group. It's about good policy and good government.

“There was a deliberate effort to play the race card, which is beneath contempt,” said Wilson, 82. “It was never about race. It was about supporting the people who came here the right way.”


Wilson spoke to the Register about immigration following a luncheon in Irvine hosted by the Orange County Forum, which was celebrating its 25th anniversary of presenting programs that address key issues of the day.

Wilson was the headline honoree for his support of the non-partisan group, including the 1991 unveiling of a major budget initiative at one of the group’s events. That speech by the sitting governor attracted widespread media coverage and brought immediate stature to the Orange County endeavor.

Wow! There's an idea! Public policy which benefits ... the public.

Wilson’s support of Prop. 187 was a central component of his 1994 reelection campaign. Wilson and other proponents complained that undocumented immigrants were a drain on the state’s budget.

And the drain has gotten worse, with nearly $1 billion (that's right, with a "b") spent on welfare for illegal aliens in Los Angeles County. This misuse of state and local resources must stop. Put Americans first, and restore prestige to citizenship and legal status.

The measure was supported by 59 percent of voters but just 27 percent of Latinos, according to the Field Poll. Wilson, who was facing a struggling state economy and trailed Democrat Kathleen Brown in early polling, is viewed by many experts as having gained a short-term boost from his anti-illegal immigration posture.

Pete Wilson

27% of Latinos. Why would anyone oppose ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly? I wonder what those numbers would be today?

However, the effort is thought to have hurt the state GOP in the long run. In 1992, 35 percent of California Latinos voted for the Republican presidential candidate, according to the Field Poll. That dropped to 25 percent in 1996 and 22 percent in 2012.

The numbers dropped, but outreach is turning all of that around. It is easy to blame policy gestures. How about ensuring that candidates follow through on fiscal discipline and local control?

Irvine attorney Michael Capaldi, active in urging fellow Republican to embrace a path to legal residency for those in the country illegally, stops short of blaming Prop. 187 for the party’s current woes with Latinos.

Capaldi does, however, link anti-illegal immigration rhetoric to Latino voters’ general distaste for the GOP and points to people like presidential candidate Donald Trump as culprits.

“That’s an example of tone that is dividing the country,” Capaldi said. “That’s much more relevant as to whether the Republican Party attracts Latinos than something that happened 21 years ago.”

Wilson, who now lives in Los Angeles, takes a softer approach to current undocumented immigrants than Trump. He doesn’t advocate mass deportation. But neither does he call for a path the legal residency, saying that the border must first be secured before deciding what to do with those in the country illegally.

Ted Cruz has also endorsed this position. So do I. Secure the border. Period. Then when all the miscreant, violent elements have fled or been deported, when E-Verify and welfare reform have enforced

He points to Israel’s use of a combination of physical barriers, electronic surveillance and border patrol as one key approach.

Great call. Israel faces extreme threats to its existence. Beyond illegal immigration, the terrorist threats from neighboring states have forced the Jewish State to secure her borders at all costs.

“Some people say we can’t afford to do it,” Wilson said. “The truth is that we can’t afford not to do it.”

I appreciate Wilson's principled stance. Some fights are so important, we cannot care how much those fights may cost us, whether financially or politically.

Final Reflection:

Pundits have billed Pete Wilson as a moderate, but on border security and immigration enforcement, he was right on. 

We need his kind of courage back in Sacramento. We need Republicans up and down the state to tout the necessity for security, transparency, and accountability, not just on fiscal matters, but the integrity of our nation and our government.

Illegal immigration is hurting everyone, and the lack of political will from Washington down has only endangered our country's legal and moral integrity.

It's time to secure the border, for real.

It's time to end illegal immigration. Without the rule  of law, there is no justice or peace; no liberty or equality of opportunity.

The most humane things that our elected representatives can do at this time? Secure the border, require E-Verify from all employers--public and private--and end welfare to illegal aliens.

Any judge who tries to overthrow these policies should be deported.

Thank you, Governor Wilson, for your brave stance then and now to ensure and maintain the integrity and beauty of our wonderful Golden State.

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