Voters in two US states Tuesday Nov. 4 defeated immigration-related ballot measures. In Arizona, Proposition 202 would have revoked the business licenses of employers that knowingly hire undocmented immigrants and would have strengthened penalties for identity theft. But in Florida, a referendum intended to protect immigrant rights went down to defeat. Amendment No. 1 would have changed the state constitution, deleting a provision allowing lawmakers to prohibit ownership of real property by undocumented immigrants. The Florida Legislature had never exercised its authority under the 1926 provision, enacted as a measure against Asian Americans.
Voters in two other states split on ballot measures that would affect many immigrants by requiring the use of the English language in official settings. In Missouri, a referendum that passed overwhelmingly will establish English as the official state language, to be used at “all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated.” In Oregon, voters apparently defeated an initiative that would have prohibited public school students from being taught in a language other than English for more than two years. (Jurist, NYT, Nov. 5)
See our last post on the politics of immigration.