Fewer than 50% of voters in California would be in support of Proposition 187, which would prevent illegal immigrants from accessing the great majority of public services, if it was on the ballot today. The electorate does, however, remain firm when it comes to border security.
It has been nearly 20 years since California voted to prevent undocumented immigrants from being able to make use of hospitals and public schools, with the electorate of the state becoming increasingly tolerant of people who are in the United States without a green card or US visas, although they continue to be strict on issues such as the enforcement of border security, according to a new poll from USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times. The growing power of Latinos appears to partly explain the shift, with them now constituting 20% of voters in California, although white attitudes do also appear to have altered.
A measure similar to that of Proposition 187 would, if placed on the ballot today, be supported by just 46% of voters, the results of the poll suggest, with 44% against, which given the margin of error of 2.9%, would be a statistical tie. This is in contrast to what actually happened in 1994, when the proposition was able to pass with 59%, albeit failing to survive legal challenges.
Californians are also now overwhelmingly supportive of the new program from the Obama administration that grants a two-year reprieve from deportation and work permits to a number of youths who arrived in the US as children.