A Sacramento Bee reporter made a serious false claim in an article Monday highlighting California’s four newest Latino GOP state lawmakers being barred from the Latino Caucus because they are Republicans.
The Globe wondered, “What about equality, equity, tolerance and inclusivity?”
However, in the article, the reporter lied about a history-making 1994 ballot initiative. He said:
“In 1994, voters approved Proposition 187, which sought to ban immigrants from receiving social services.”
But he is wrong, and it takes less than 30 seconds to verify the official ballot title of Proposition 187.
Proposition 187 wasn’t about banning services “for immigrants.” Most long-time Californians know immigrants who received much needed social services and benefits after their arrival to the country and this state.
Proposition 187 applied only to “Persons in Violation of Immigration Law.” The actual title of the initiative is “Illegal aliens. Ineligibility for public services. Verification and reporting. Initiative statute,” and proposed “prohibiting persons in violation of immigration law in California from using public healthcare services except in cases of emergency, social services, and public schools.”
This lie (or omission) is flagrant. It is shameless, and only furthers the public’s dim view of a widespread corrupt media. And this is important, because the media has been lying about this California ballot initiative since 1994.
The ballot summary for this measure was:
|“||• Makes illegal aliens ineligible for public social services, public health care services (unless emergency under federal law), and public school education at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels.
• Requires various state and local agencies to report persons who are suspected illegal aliens to the California Attorney General and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
• Mandates California Attorney General to transmit reports to Immigration and Naturalization Service and maintain records of such reports.
• Makes it a felony to manufacture, distribute, sell or use false citizenship or residence documents.
Media manipulators like this only encourage social media trolls and cable news hyperbole. This isn’t a fact overlooked by an editor. This is disinformation masquerading as fact.
And this not new, nor is it something new on this very topic. Proposition 187 was despised by the left and the media from the moment it was proposed. Despite their opposition, voters overwhelmingly passed Prop. 187 – right or wrong.
Ever since it was passed 59% to 41% by California voters, media has sought to undermine it – and even lie about its purpose and intent.
As Ballotpedia correctly explains, “The day after Proposition 187 was approved, several groups filed federal lawsuits against it, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the ACLU. On November 11, 1994, federal district court judge Matthew Byrne issued a temporary injunction against the state of California, forbidding the enforcement of Proposition 187. Federal judge Marianna Pfaelzer then issued a permanent injunction, pending a trial. The state of California asked in 1997 that the case be dismissed and the injunction dropped, on the grounds that federal immigration law had changed in the meantime. The federal court denied the request that the case be dismissed. The state of California did not appeal that decision, leaving the permanent injunction standing. The case did not proceed to trial.“
None of this explains or excuses the continuing lies about Proposition 187. Telling the accurate story should be enough – it was passed by the voters and litigated out of state law by opponents.
The job of the media is to report, and only report. The job of reporters is to report the news. The job of opinion columnists is to opine, but factually. And the job of news editors is to edit and revise, check facts and data, and coordinate material for publication in newspapers and online news.
Truth in media shouldn’t be so hard to come by, even when there is ulterior motive, and the truth could bury an agenda.
This is my opinion, but it is based on facts and long standing, honest reporting tradition.
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