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    The new politics of immigration: "balanced-budget conservatism" and the symbolism of Proposition 187.

    Calavita K

    SOCIAL PROBLEMS. 1996 Aug; 43(3):284-305.

    This paper focuses on the politics of the new immigration restrictionism as manifest in Proposition 187, passed by California voters in 1994. I first show that restrictionist sentiment and immigrant scapegoating have a long history in U.S. immigration politics, briefly reviewing three periods of early nativism....I then make two principal arguments. First, I argue that the new nativism embodied in Proposition 187--which would bar undocumented immigrants in California from receiving social services, including public schooling--corresponds to specific features of the late twentieth-century political-economic landscape....Second...I show that Proposition 187 is symbolic in that it derives from and evokes beliefs about immigrants' responsibility and blame for the current economic and fiscal crisis. In addition, I suggest that Proposition 187 may represent a new kind of symbolic politics in which alienated voters--those who bother to vote at all--use their ballot symbolically to express anger and 'send a message.' (EXCERPT)
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