The Christian Science Monitor

On immigration, is California’s odyssey America’s future?

California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, has a favorite point he likes to make when talking about the southern border and immigration: America in 2019 is a lot like California in the 1990s. Then he lists disturbing characteristics that he sees in the nation today: nativism, xenophobia, scapegoating, fear of the other.

His view is that California is years beyond that – exactly 25 years, if one considers the hugely divisive ballot initiative that passed by a wide margin in November 1994. Known as “Save Our State,” Proposition 187 prohibited undocumented immigrants from using social services, such as non-emergency health care. Four years later, Californians voted to greatly restrict bilingual education.

But 187 was found unconstitutional, the bilingual

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