The nativist origins of California’s landmark Proposition 187

This week, we’re re-airing “This is California: The Battle of 187,” a four-part podcast the L.A. Times did back in 2019 in collaboration with Futuro Studios (and we’ll wrap up the week with a brand-new update). The series is about Proposition 187, the 1994 California ballot initiative that sought to make life miserable for undocumented immigrants but instead ended up radicalizing a generation of Latinos — and set the stage for Donald Trump to win the presidency in 2016 on a xenophobic platform.

Today, in Part One of “This is California: The Battle of 187,” we take you back to a time when the Golden State wasn’t a progressive paradise — and how Republicans decided that undocumented immigrants were California’s true problem and thus needed to be demonized.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

More reading:

Initiative to deny aid and education to illegal immigrants qualifies for ballot

Prop. 187 creators come under closer scrutiny

The Times Poll: Anti-illegal immigration Prop. 187 keeps 2-to-1 edge

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