Thursday, January 15, 2009

Immigration and English-Only

On January 22nd, residents of Davidson County in Tennessee will vote on an English-only policy for Davidson County employees and officials.

Opponents of an English-only policy stand behind Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and that it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and First Amendment free-speech protections. They claim that this referendum would prohibit fire and police personnel from speaking to crime victims in any language other than English and translators would be forbidden in parent-teacher conferences and courtrooms. This is their scare tactic. They don't want Davidson County voters to know that exceptions will be made in regard to health, safety, and other key issues. What school would not want a parent to understand what they are trying to communicate regarding a child's education which ultimately affects our nation's future? It is a ridiculous argument by those against an English-only policy.

Opponents reach even further by arguing that American Sign Language is not English. They question if signers will be allowed to translate during public hearings and court proceedings. Sign language is not spoken, it is signed. It is used for communication for those with a disability and not for those who refuse to speak English. But what about non-English-speaking tourists? Will they not be able to report a crime or a fire? Once again, exceptions will be made in regard to health, safety, and other key issues.

Not enforcing an English-only stance, along with government benefits for illegal immigrants, employers looking for cheap labor with no apparent ethics or scruples, and sanctuary cities, in this country have contributed to our constant flow of illegal labor. U.S. citizens are required by law to speak, write, and understand English. Why isn't this being enforced? New Haven, CT; San Francisco; New York City; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles; Chicago; Salt Lake City; Portland, Maine; Santa Ana, CA; San Diego; Phoenix; Dallas; Baltimore; Miami; Detroit; Minneapolis; Jersey City; Houston; and Denver have ordinances banning city employees and police officers from asking people about their immigration status. Come on in! We make it easy for you to obtain employment and benefits without even proving you're a citizen!

To succeed in this country, you need to be fluent in English. Name one immigrant who didn't learn English that was or is successful here. When immigrants came through Ellis Island they wanted to assimilate through a common language. Why are we so against it today? Governments across the world conduct business in their native languages. If you choose to live in a foreign country, and you want to be successful you need to learn their language. You don't expect them to meet your first language needs.


dmarks said...

I know I am in the minority on this, but I don't have a lot of problem with immigrants who come here and find work. After all, they are doing something productive, and generally they do not "steal" jobs but earn them by being better at them.

Now, what exactly does this law entrail?

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

It would prohibit police and fire officials from communicating with victims? That's a load of crap. Just about evey public safety agency has more translators on hand than they can count. It's a matter of simple phone call.

The ACLU and and La Raza and others of their ilk would rather see non-English speakers remain poor and in the shadows than see them succeed in this country.

EatYourOkra said...

dmarks- I'm with you on immigrants coming here to work. My issue is with illegals. They're reaping our benefits (such as healthcare) and are not even citizens.

PCC- that's the crazy libs working on people's fears for ya.

Tina Hemond said...

Here is a basic fact,(outside of the U.S.), English is taught world-wide as a second language becuase: it is the international language of business. As a first generation American, I knew that one could still maintain an ethnicity, yet learn the language skills of the country in which they lived. Why this is so difficult to understand is beyond my comprehension. When in Rome - applies.