Readers React: California gave us Prop. 187 in 1994. Now, it may finally settle the question of immigration enforcement

Protesters rally outside a hotel in Sacramento where U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions spoke about enforcing immigration law on March 7.
Protesters rally outside a hotel in Sacramento where U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions spoke about enforcing immigration law on March 7.
(Josh Edelson / For The Times)

To the editor: In 1994, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 187, which would have made illegal immigrants ineligible for most taxpayer-funded public services. In an opposing editorial on Oct. 30, 1994, The Times Editorial Board wrote, “The federal government, asleep at the switch for years, is at last putting resources on the border; Gov. Pete Wilson, though horribly wrong to endorse Prop. 187, has been right to pound on Washington’s door, along with many members of the California congressional delegation, demanding more federal aid to address a problem that is fundamentally a federal responsibility: international border control.”

The intent of declaring California a “sanctuary state” is to safely harbor those here illegally by discouraging state and local law enforcement authorities from cooperating with federal authorities, who have proper jurisdiction over our sovereign borders. (“California leaders rebuke Sessions as ‘going to war’ over state immigration policy,” March 7)

Just as Proposition 187 was largely struck down as unconstitutional, the current federal versus state conflict must be resolved legally by our judicial system, preferably ending in a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Redhead, San Diego



To the editor: I am appalled by what can be described as the unconstitutional “stormtrooper” tactics of U.S. Immigration and Customs of Enforcement, which, to the extent that they are based on nothing more than racial profiling, are ominously reminiscent of the round-up of European Jews before and during World War II.

I applaud California’s decision to prevent state and local law enforcement from voluntarily providing ICE with information about the release dates of immigrant detainees, as well as those instances in which employers exercise their 4th Amendment right to insist upon probable cause warrants before allowing ICE agents to enter their facilities.

That said, I believe California overstepped its authority by “mandating” that private employers insist on a warrant. The 4th Amendment right against an unreasonable search belongs to the employer, not the state of California.

While one may regard an employer’s decision to aid ICE as repugnant, that employer has a 1st Amendment right to disagree.

Ernest A. Canning, Thousand Oaks

The writer is a retired attorney.


To the editor: Wasn’t this question settled decades ago? Can the Jim Crow laws in the South be re-instated?

Federal law supersedes state law. Changing that would make this difficult situation even more conflicted.

The “Dreamer” question can be settled simply: Allow them to earn citizenship, and detain and deport their parents for bringing them into the country illegally.

Bill Serantoni, Thousand Oaks

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