Expanding her summary judgment ruling of November 20, 1995, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer issued a final judgment, on March 13 in the challenge to the anti-immigrant Proposition 187, confirming the federal government's exclusive authority over immigration and declaring the measure unconstitutional. With this ruling, a trial at the district court level is unnecessary.
The measure passed by voters Nov. 8, 1994, is still pending appeal by the State of California to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. In her ruling, Judge Pfaelzer ruled that Sections 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Proposition 187 "are declared to be in violation of the Supremacy Clause, preempted by federal law, and of no force or effect." The final judgment declares that the benefits denial, classification, verification, notification and reporting provisions of the measure are unenforceable. Pursuant to the judgment, then, those provisions of 187 relating to the denial of elementary, secondary and higher education, health and social services were all found unconstitutional.
Mark Rosenbaum, Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California, which filed suit against the measure in November 1994, hailed the ruling."The decision makes clear that immigration policy remains the province of the federal government, not a matter for individual states to attempt to formulate their own rules and procedures. School teachers and doctors are not substitutes for INS agents."
In her order, Judge Pfaelzer said, "Defendants shall within 60 days of the date this Judgment is filed, distribute copies of this Judgment to all state and local agencies, personnel, and health care workers affected by Proposition 187. Any accompanying notice shall instruct that the enjoined sections of Proposition 187 are not to be implemented." Judge Pfaelzer ordered this notice to the Attorney General, all district attorneys, police chiefs and sheriffs; the Department of Health Services and all its employees, all Medi-Cal licensed providers, all publicly -funded health care facilities, the Department of Social Services and all county welfare departments, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the superintendents of each district, the President of the University of California and the administration of each campus, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and the administration and governing boards of every community college, and to all county and city agencies throughout California.
Proposition 187 includes ten sections. Section 1 requires "a system of required notification" between state and local agencies "to prevent illegal aliens in the United States from receiving benefits or public services;" Section 2 covers the manufacture, distribution or sale of false citizenship documents (something illegal under federal law); Section 3 covers the use of false citizenship documents (already illegal under federal law); Section 4 requires all law enforcement officials to verify the citizenship status of any individual who is arrested "if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws;" Section 5 excludes illegal aliens from all public social services; Section 6 excludes illegal aliens from publically funded health care; Section 7 excludes the children of illegal aliens from public schools; Section 8 excludes illegal aliens from public post-secondary education; Section 9 requires all local and state agencies to report anyone suspected of being in the United States illegally; Section 10 concerns severability in the event sections are found invalid.