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ERIC Number: ED413160
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Unpacking 187: Targeting Mejicanas.
Hondagneu-Sotelo, Pierrette
Passed in November 1994, California's Proposition 187 was intended to deny public school education and health care to undocumented immigrants and their children. The rhetoric of current anti-immigrant hysteria has shifted from that of recent decades and relies on both racist and sexist imagery. This narrative shift, with its emphasis on women and public resources, can be seen as a reaction to the transformation of Mexican migration from a predominantly sojourner pattern to the widespread establishment of Mexican immigrant families and communities throughout California. Contemporary xenophobia targets women and children because they are central to making settlement happen. Viewed in this manner, the 187 campaign is less about illegal immigration and more about rejecting Latino immigrants and their U.S.-born family members as permanent members of U.S. society. This paper examines the narrative devices that framed and fueled the anti-immigrant 187 campaign and draws some comparisons with expulsion campaigns of the early 1930s. Three types of anti-immigrant narratives focus on job competition, cultural differences, and the drain on government resources. The paper then contrasts sojourner and settler patterns of Mexican immigration and examines coercive systems of labor and their implications for family life. Slavery and past U.S. systems of foreign contract labor, in effect, outlawed family life. It is suggested that contemporary xenophobic rhetoric assumes that Latino immigrant work life should be severed from family and community life. Contains 50 references. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Proposition 187 (California 1994)