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BUENA PARK, Calif. – A proposed state initiative that would have banned illegal immigrants in California from using matricular consular cards at public agencies for identification purposes has failed to garner enough signatures from registered voters to be placed on the November ballot, organizers have announced. Despite that, the organizer of the proposed “Save our State” (SOS) initiative vowed he would continue to work to place the measure before voters. “We have just begun to fight,” insisted Ron Prince, chairman of Save our State. “Illegal immigration hasn’t stopped and neither will we. We will keep working to put this measure before the voters so they can finally have their say.” The measure was primarily designed to prevent illegal aliens from obtaining state driver’s licenses and public benefits, including welfare, housing benefits, non-emergency medical care and in-state tuition for secondary education. It also would have prevented the use of the matricular consular cards or other forms of identification issued by foreign governments – other than passports – from being accepted by public agencies. Many credit unions and large banks accept the matricular consular cards as identification when opening accounts. The use of the cards is also supported by CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions. Prince blamed opposition from Republican lawmakers and a lack of funds to pay for signature gatherers as reasons why the measure failed to get enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. He said nearly 500,000 signatures had been gathered by SOS volunteers. “You can’t get an initiative on the ballot in California today without enough money to pay for signatures,” Prince said. “With the kind of money that wealthy individuals or corporations can afford, this measure could have qualified within a few weeks with the kind of money that wealthy individuals or corporations spend on their pet projects.” Although supporters said they needed 598,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, Prince said at least 800,000 signatures were actually required to ensure there were enough valid signatures. Prince predicted that had the SOS initiative been on the ballot, it would have received more than the 60% backing of Proposition 187 in November 1994. That measure, some of which was found unconstitutional and some of which was never implemented, would have denied such things as public schooling and emergency medical care to illegal immigrants. The SOS initiative has been called the “Son of 187.” -

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