SD Man Launches Anti-Illegal Immigration Initiative

Ted Hilton Has Launched A Statewide Ballot Drive For A Law Similar To Arizona's Immigration Law

A San Diego man has launched a statewide ballot drive for a proposed law similar to Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law.

“This is important. Illegal immigration must be stopped. We’re putting a coalition together to get it on the ballot,” said Ted Hilton, a real estate developer who has become a nationally recognized activist.

His attorneys have just approved the draft language for a proposed 2012 proposition.

To stop illegal immigration, Hilton said law enforcement must be allowed to ask questions. His law would take Arizona’s one step further.

Instead of requiring “reasonable suspicion” to stop someone, Hilton said it should be up to the officer’s discretion when they need to ask for immigration status.

“We should trust our peace officers to do the best job they can do and to use the law when they need to use it,” he said.

Also in his initiative was a section that would deny benefits to U.S. born children of illegal immigrants.

A recent effort to put the initiative on the ballot was stalled when he only raised hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of the millions needed.

“2009 was considered one of the worst years for fundraising ever. We’re talking to some big donors already,” said Hilton. “We’re optimistic the money will be there.”

Opponents of the ballot say people will oppose the law.

“If he really wants a fight, he’s going to have a fight,” said Christian Ramirez, of the American Friends Service Committee. “I’m confident folks will rally against such anti-immigration measures.”

Immigrant advocates said California is still healing from divisive immigration battles of the 1990s, which hurt Republicans in the Latino community.

“If something make it to the ballot, we’ll debate it and take a stance on it,” said Tony Krvaric, the chair of the San Diego County Republican Party.

They’re taking a wait and see stance as the fate of a California initiative could hinge on whether Arizona’s law holds up in court.