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Posts Tagged ‘english language’

Rolling out the Immigrant Welcome Mat…

In Recent Headlines on April 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I am writing this at the risk of alienating my core readers and commenters, but neither will I pretend to only see in blue and ignore red. I prefer to think I have violet colored glasses to view the world. 

I will start with the medicine. Open wide and swallow the bitter stuff I am about to serve you. 

  • I don’t have a problem with making English the native language
  • I don’t have a problem with requiring proof of citizenship 

That said, before the rebuttals start I will also say what I do have a problem with:

  • I think that we need compassion not hatred for new immigrants to our country
  • I think the propensity for profiling is immense and quite unsettling, because really, what DOES an immigrant look like? We need to be careful.  

It bothers me how often the finger is pointed at illegal immigrants for the problems in our nation. SOMEONE is giving them jobs. Let’s point in the right direction! If there were no cheap skate employers paying substandard wages without benefits so they could make a higher profit, there would be no motivation for anyone to come here illegally. If instead of border patrols and totalitarian regimes, we aggressively penalized the companies that gave jobs to illegal immigrants, we’d have a much more efficient border patrol. Worried about illegal aliens? Stop enabling incentives.  This is why I support citizenship papers. I realize those can be forged as easily as social security cards, and there always seems to be ways around a system, but at least set it up in good faith. It makes it that much more difficult to accidentally hire an illegal if they must provide proof.

As to the providing proof of citizenship when asked? I used to work at a grocery store. If we sold illegal items to someone underage, we were at risk of losing our jobs. I noticed that everyone who was legal to purchase tobacco or alcohol had no problem providing an identification card. Additionally, the folks who had fake IDs always behaved differently than the ones with genuine ones. The folks with nothing to worry about will not take offense. Much like flying today. As inconvenient as I find removing my shoes, emptying my pockets and having my bags rummaged through, I also accept that I have nothing to hide and it is worth the inconvenience to be safe.

Lastly, regarding the requirement to speak English. It makes sense. Were I to live in another country, I may not be called an immigrant, but rather an ex patriot, however, I would attempt to learn that language. I find it embarrassing that the United States is “mono lingual” but we are. Most of our citizens speak only English. That is not the case elsewhere, yet, if I traveled to France, I would still try to speak French. It may not be pretty, but if I were there long enough, I could converse with the locals. I would consider it a lack of respect for the culture to expect French to speak my language. I am a guest on their soil. As a guest, I would follow their customs. I feel the converse should be true on our soil. I think the problem arises is when the guests are treated as intruders and not guests. Sometimes we are so nasty to someone who does not speak English well. Truly it saddens me. It seems very uncharitable. I was taught to open my doors to guests and treat them graciously. I think that is our responsibility as a nation founded by outcasts. You are welcome here, but please respect our rules. 

Therefore, why not expect immigrants who want to live here to learn to speak English? Why not ask people to carry cards of citizenship?

The floor is open…