Hate Crimes Up since Proposition 187, Group Says

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES--One year after California voters approved the anti-immigrant initiative Proposition 187, its opponents marked the anniversary with a report documenting a rash of hate crimes throughout the state.

In November, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles released a report, "Hate Unleashed: Los Angeles in the Aftermath of 187.n

The 18-page document details some of the 229 cases that CHIRLA said are verified cases of "discrimination, denial of services, civil rights violations, hate speech and hate crimes."

CHIRLA spokeswoman Bobbi Murray said most complaints came just after the November 1994 victory of 187, which can deny nonemergency medical care to illegal aliens. Under the proposition children of illegal aliens could also be removed from public schools. But 187 is currently stuck under an ice pack of litigation that could keep it in the courts for years.

Anti-immigrant attitudes will keep growing, CHIRLA's Murray said, thanks in part to an upcoming election where candidates-will look for easy scapegoats. She said such sentiments are also getting a boost nationally because some in Congress are trying to federalize what Proposition 187 wants to do in California, despite a federal judge's November ruling that gutted most of 187 for being unconstitutional.

What U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer of Los Angeles did not rule on last month was reviewed in another hearing in early December.

Pfaelzer said the state of California, which is defending 187 before the judge has until Jan. 31 to decide if it wants to issue regulations on the part of the initiative not ruled on, such as illegal immigrant access to prenatal care. No appeal by the state is possible until Pfaelzer rules on the proposition in its entirety.

Murray said complaints to CHIRLA about racism have dropped to a "steady trickle" in the past six months. However, in 1994, the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission reported a 23. …