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SUNLAND-TUJUNGA : Debate Scheduled on Immigration Measure

October 18, 1994|TIM MAY

Residents of Sunland and Tujunga will have the chance Thursday to find out what Proposition 187, the controversial "Save Our State" anti-illegal immigration initiative, is all about.

A debate will take place between Steve Frank, of the Orange County-based organization supporting the initiative and a representative of Taxpayers Against Proposition 187 at 7 p.m. at the Sunland-Tujunga Coordinating Council's general meeting at the First Baptist Church, 10438 Oro Vista Ave.

Proposition 187, favored by Gov. Pete Wilson, would bar illegal immigrants from receiving public school educations and other state and county-funded benefits, including non-emergency health care and other social services.

Polls have shown strong support for the proposition among likely voters, including many Latinos.

But the measure has been hotly contested by a variety of professional groups, including teachers, medical professionals and union activists, who say the initiative would leave hundreds of thousands of youths and children without education or medical care. A protest march against Proposition 187 drew nearly 70,000 demonstrators to the Downtown area Sunday, one of the largest mass protests in the city's history.

"I have no idea how it's going to go over," said Joanne Wright, who will moderate the debate. "It should be interesting. We're going to keep it very simple. Each speaker will get 10 minutes to speak and each will have five minutes for rebuttal. Then, we'll open for questions."

Wright said her goal is to limit the audience to asking questions, rather than making statements or accusations. "I'm hoping this will be an educational opportunity for both sides to hear what's going on," she said.

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