They Keep Coming: Anti-Immigrants Bring Arizona's 1070 to California

What lies ahead in California is a costly, multimillion dollar ballot fight designed by anti-immigrant groups to divide families, communities, and coalitions.
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They keep coming. We just stopped them at the ballot box, but they keep coming. We have stopped them in the courts, but they keep coming. We have stopped them in our communities, but they keep coming. They are the anti-immigrants. Their latest act: the Son of SB 1070 -- a ballot measure for February 2012 to bring Arizona's divisive anti-immigrants law to California. They keep coming and they must be stopped.

No sooner had Senator Barbara Boxer and Governor Jerry Brown led a statewide sweep for Democrats than tea party Republicans took out papers to attempt by proposition what they failed by candidate. What lies ahead is a costly, multimillion dollar ballot fight designed by anti-immigrants to divide families, communities, and coalitions.

Californians will reject Son of SB 1070 because we know it is necessary to work together to secure our borders, keep families together, protect our workers, and grow our economy. We know that it is time to end "don't ask, don't tell" in immigration by providing a path to legalization for millions living in the shadows, and that is why we elected federal legislators to work on a national solution. 85 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of voters registered as "Decline-to-state" overwhelmingly support the DREAM Act for immigrant children and just rejected extremist candidates who don't. Communities of color -- Asian Americans, African Americans, and Latinos -- voted overwhelmingly for candidates who support immigrants and will defeat Son of SB 1070.

The anti-immigrants know they can't win through candidates, which is why they are circulating the initiative. They know California voters reject scapegoating so in Orwellian fashion they named themselves -- wait for it -- 'Support Immigration' to induce you, supermarket shopper, into signing Son of SB 1070. Don't buy what they're peddling. The anti-immigrants say they are merely enforcing federal laws like E-verify. Well they don't need to change California law in order to implement federal law. They say they are not anti-immigrant, just anti-illegal immigrant -- but tell that to the families they are ripping apart. Tell that to Meg Whitman's former housekeeper, who was kicked to the curb when she asked for help in attaining legal status. Tell that to the farm workers who form the backbone of California's agricultural economy. Tell that to the DREAM Act kids who came here as babies and are working hard, playing by the rules, and striving for a better life and a chance to contribute to society. Tell that to the millions of Latino voters who were urged by the GOP "don't vote" -- a move that backfired so completely that Democrats across the West stopped the red tide at the Rockies, and California Republicans risk losing immigrant voters for generations.

They say they have won before -- but we are a different state demographically and politically now than we were when when Pete Wilson brought Prop 187 to the ballot box with his version of "they keep coming" as evidenced by the decisive voter rejection of his candidate Meg Whitman.

So if you're a California voter reading this, and you see a petition gatherer from "Support Immigration" kindly let them know that you do support immigration which is why you'll decline to sign Son of SB 1070. Tell the anti-immigrants you know they are trying to drive a wedge among Californians, and that you refuse to be divided by race. Tell them you just rejected extremist tea party Republicanism in November, and see no need to undermine your vote. Tell them you understand that what Arizona passed out of policy frustration, California must not pass as political retribution. And when the anti-immigrants qualify for the ballot, join the vast majority of Californians who support fair and humane approaches to immigration in defeating Son of SB 1070.

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