30 Years After Proposition 187

Endorsed by the Western History Association

Friday, March 31, 2023, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Immigration and Internal Migration; Latino/a; Politics


In 1994, Californians passed Proposition 187, a voter-led ballot initiative that denied public benefits, education, and health services to undocumented immigrants and required all public employees to report anyone suspected of being in the United States without proper documentation to federal authorities. Although the courts eventually ruled that most of Proposition 187's provisions were unconstitutional, the initiative marked a significant turning point in the history of xenophobia and immigration policy in the United States. In preparation for the 30th anniversary of Proposition 187 in 2024, this roundtable brings together scholars, journalists, and activists to reflect upon the forces that shaped the initiative and how Proposition 187 and its aftermath shaped immigration policy, Latinx political organizing, understandings of race and belonging in California and the United States more broadly.

Session Participants

Panelist: Gustavo Arrelano, LA Times

Panelist: Sarah Coleman, Texas State University
Assistant Professor of History, Texas State University

Panelist: Daniel HoSang
Associate Professor of Ethnicity, Race, & Migration and American Studies, Yale University

Panelist: Kevin Johnson, UC Davis School of Law
Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicano/a Studies, UC Davis

Panelist: Rigoberto Rodriquez
Chicano & Latino Studies Department, California State University, Long Beach