Court Settlement Hails End to California's Anti-Immigrant Law Prop. 187

September 13, 1999 12:00 am

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LOS ANGELES — A U.S. District Court Judge today approved a mediated settlement of an American Civil Liberties Union challenge to a state anti-immigrant law, confirming that no children in California can be deprived of an education or stripped of healthcare due to their place of birth.

The court-approved settlement, agreed to in July, also made clear that the state cannot regulate immigration, a job clearly assigned by the United States Constitution and federal law to the national government.

The ACLU of Southern California hailed the ruling as a victory for all Californians.

“Today’s announcement by Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer is the final shovelful of dirt on the grave of Proposition 187,” said Mark Rosenbaum, Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California.

“More than a judicial ruling, the end of the Proposition 187 litigation re-connects all of us as Californians,” he added. “Under the court-approved settlement, children may go to school and see doctors when ill without regard to immigrant status. As 187 is reduced to zero, so are the fears and stereotypes that divided us as a state.”

Passed in 1994, Proposition 187 included a requirement that police, healthcare professionals and teachers must verify and report the immigration status of all individuals, including children. In 1995, Judge Pfaelzer issued an injunction barring implementation of the measure, holding that it violated the U.S. Constitution.

“Today’s ruling marks an end to more than five years of divisiveness and wedge politics,” said Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California. “Let us hope that we can now focus our energies on the future, and the tremendous challenges and opportunities that face all of us who call California ‘home.'”

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