In November 2019, Los Angeles labor unions, immigrant community organizations, and Democratic elected officials gathered to celebrate the political transformation of their state. Twenty-five years earlier, California voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 187, a ballot initiative that aimed to deny social services, healthcare, and public education to undocumented immigrants. Embraced by the faltering reelection campaign of Republican governor Pete Wilson, Prop 187 generated ugly and xenophobic campaign rhetoric that anthropologist Leo Chavez dubbed “the Latino threat narrative.”1 Although a federal judge struck down the law, Prop 187 soon generated a progressive backlash. California’s growing number of Latinx voters swung hard to the Democrats, driving the GOP into the political wilderness. As of 2020, prolabor and pro-immigrant Democrats hold all statewide offices and proudly claim the mantle of the anti-Trump resistance.

The election of Donald Trump in 2016 may yet prove to...

You do not currently have access to this content.