Friday, November 19, 2004


47% of Latino voters supported measure to limit benefits for illegal immigrants

Emboldened by the passage of an Arizona ballot measure that prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits, like-minded conservatives are stepping up their efforts for a similar initiative in California.

"It's clear there is public support for cutting off benefits to people here illegally,' said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, a group pushing a similar proposal in California. "What happened in Arizona is definitely a benefit because it keeps the issue at the forefront.'

Despite the opposition of Arizona's political establishment, including business groups, churches and Republican and Democratic lawmakers, Proposition 200 prevailed 56 percent to 44 percent last week. Forty-seven percent of Latino voters supported the initiative, which requires proof of citizenship when seeking public benefits or registering to vote.

"We certainly think it's going to have an effect, not just in California, but in other states where they're dealing with large increases in illegal immigration,' said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which spent about $400,000 to qualify and get the Arizona initiative passed.

"This serves as a model for what can be done around the country,' Mehlman said. "If government isn't going to be responsive to concerns about illegal immigration, then this is a way of going over their heads.'

San Bernardino County Sun: Efforts against illegal immigrants rise


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