NEWS: International impact of Prop 187

Author: Josef Barton <>

Date: Wed, 7 Dec 1994 15:34:57 -0600

[Co-moderator's note: The following press summary is taken from NAFTA and Inter-American Trade Monitor, vol. 1, #26, November 21, 1994, produced by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy <>. JB]


California's newly-passed Proposition 187 "creates the wrong spirit," according to U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor. Mexicans agree. Delegations of California business leaders visiting Mexico in October were snubbed, with the Mexican commerce secretary and his undersecretary failing to show up at a trade show. Prominent Mexican guests were no-shows at a reception given by the U.S. ambassador. The American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico denounced Proposition 187, warning that it "potentially damages U.S.-Mexican relations and trade ... breeds distrust and damages years of collaboration ... [and] threatens to damage the promising future on both sides of the border."

Proposition 187, which denies most public benefits to illegal immigrants and their families, was also the target of an election-day action at a McDonald's restaurant in Mexico City. Dozens of masked protesters invaded the McDonald's, throwing cash registers to the floor, overturning tables, and smashing windows. About 150 peaceful protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy.

Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Andres Rosenthal recently pointed out that Mexico does $16 billion in trade with California yearly. California ships 10 percent of its exports to Mexico, making it second only to Texas among U.S. states trading with Mexico. Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari suggested that the U.S. and Mexico need to enter into negotiations on a more free flow of Mexican migrant workers, just as they have agreed on free trade. Salinas noted that he had first proposed such an agreement when free trade negotiations began, but that the Bush administration had said that an immigration side accord was politically impossible.

Source: "Measures Against Immigrants and Incumbents Pass," IPS, 11/9/94; "Ballot Issue May Hurt U.S.-Mexican Trade," EL FINANCIERO, 10/31-11/6/94; John M. Nagel, "US Executives in Mexico Denounce Calif. Proposition," JOURNAL OF COMMERCE, 11/7/94; Paul B. Carroll, "A McDonald's in Mexico City Is Trashed in Protest Against California Proposition," WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/9/94; Ernest Sander, "Prop. 187 - Trade Fallout," ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11//7/94; Tim Golden, "Salinas Urges Talks on Free Migrant Flow," NEW YORK TIMES, 11/14/94.

NEWS: International Impact of Prop 187

Author: Josef Barton <>

Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 10:12:09 -0600

[Co-moderator's note: This press summary is forwarded from the excellent Report form El Salvador of the Fundacion Flor de Izote <>.]

"I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the treatment that Salvadoran citizens receive in our country : it leaves much to be desired, and in some cases violates human rights." Ernesto Zedillo, President-elect of Mexico. (19)

"As yet it [187] has not had any effects and, in my opinion, it will continue like this for months, or even years." Alan Flanigan, U.S. Ambassador in El Salvador. (20)

For Salvadorans who travel illegally to the United States, human rights violations start as soon as they enter Mexican territory, not to mention once they enter the United States. Even though the public was already aware of this it was "officially" acknowledged by President-elect of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, during his visit to El Salvador. Zedillo said in a press conference, "I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the treatment that Salvadoran citizens receive in our country: it leaves much to be desired, and in some cases violates human government will take the necessary actions to avoid these violations, which are not acceptable." (21)

The vice presidents of Central America announced their opposition to Proposition 187 in their preparatory meeting for the Miami summit to be held in December. The proposition has been equally criticized by the governments of Latin America. The Vice President of El Salvador, Enrique Borgo Bustamante, said after reading the final document of the meeting, "applying [Proposition 187] will seriously affect our nations' economies, Central American development, and the efforts to stabilize the region. Consequently, we appeal to the humanism and solidarity of the American people to prevent this proposition from being activated. We support all steps that are in motion for its reconsideration." (22)

In addition, Rene Figueroa, President of the Legislative Assembly's Commission for Exterior Relations, informed the public that a delegation will travel to the United States at the end of this month. The delegation's objective will be to converse with U.S. government officials and plead with them to extend the program of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Figueroa said, "we are going to do everything within our power to extend DED." (23) Likewise, Minister of Exterior Relations Dr. Oscar Santamaria declared this Monday that he supports the Assembly's initiative to form a commission to go to the United States to talk with President Clinton and solicit an extension for the deferred departure permit for Salvadorans. (24)

In statements made on Saturday, November 19, the United States Ambassador Alan Flanigan affirmed that the U.S. administration is opposed to Proposition 187 and added that "as yet it has not had any effects and in my opinion it will continue like this for months, or even years." Flanigan's statements are in light of last week's order by District Judge Mathew Byrne prohibiting the State of California from applying all but two minor clauses of Proposition 187. (25)

[Sources: 19-TV2,18/11/94;20-LPG, 21/11/94;21-

TV2,18/11/94;22-TV2, 16/11/94;23-EM,18/11/94;24-TV12,14/11/94;25-

LPG, 21/11/94.]

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