Skip to main content

San Diegans Reflect On 25 Years After Prop. 187

Hundreds of protesters gather at Los Angeles City Hall, Nov. 7, 1994, demonst...

Photo by Nick Ut / AP

Above: Hundreds of protesters gather at Los Angeles City Hall, Nov. 7, 1994, demonstrating against the so-called "Save Our State" proposition, Prop 187.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 187. The measure would have denied medical care and public education to people living in California illegally. While a court ruling blocked it from being implemented, the fight over Prop. 187 had a major impact on the state and its residents.

Aired: November 7, 2019 | Transcript

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 187.

The measure would have denied medical care and public education to people living in California illegally. While a court ruling blocked it from being implemented, the fight over Prop. 187 had a major impact on the state and its residents. Prop. 187 has been credited with galvanizing Latinos and turning California deep blue.

In San Diego, a rally and community forum will be held at the Centro Cultural de la Raza on Friday at 10 a.m.

Here's what San Diegans shared about how Proposition 187 affected their lives:

"As a student, I joined MECHA and participated in protests, marches, rallies, candlelight vigils and public forums. I got inspired to organized against Proposition 187 because like its proponents, it represented a white supremacist threat to my family and my greater community."

-Pedro Rios, program director, American Friends Service Committee

"With the danger of benefits being taken away, many people became U.S. citizens and those people and part of those people were part of my immediate family. Everybody, including my mother, filed for U.S. citizenship. In the end, Proposition 187 was not passed, but it actually backfired on Pete Wilson, because with his action, he actually made thousands of Mexicans become U.S. citizens, who had for many years been just legal permanent residents."

-Juan Jose Briones, Tijuana resident

"When Prop. 187 was happening I was very young, I was 9 years old. Prop. 187 was kind of what laid the foundation in my family to begin speaking about status and college and to know what it meant to not have proper documentation. Even though it didn't get implemented, we still saw racism and even though for 25 years a lot of political leaders and community organizers, like myself, have been fighting there's still much work to do."

-Blanca Romero, Sherman Heights resident, community organizer

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.