Archive for the “Language” Category

Washington Times

Des Moines, IA — Rep. Tom Tancredo says his fellow Republican presidential candidates are aiding immigrants in breaking the law by taking part in this weekend’s Spanish-language debate in Miami.

‘What all my colleagues ? what the other candidates are doing ? it’s encouraging violation of the law because it’s saying, ‘Don’t worry about the fact that you have to know English to earn citizenship,’ ‘ said Mr. Tancredo, the only Republican to turn down the invitation from Univision for Sunday night’s debate and who said the other candidates’ participation was worse than pandering.

For the Colorado congressman, it’s a matter of principle: He said the other candidates are contributing to the Balkanization of the country by joining the debate, in which the candidates will speak English, but their answers will be translated into Spanish for broadcast on the nation’s largest Spanish-language network.

And it’s one of the few areas left to Mr. Tancredo, the original anti-illegal immigration candidate in the Republican field, as he struggles to set himself apart from the others who have adopted many of his stances on the issue ? so much so that he said he is being ‘out-Tancredoed.’

New Tancredo Ad

Yesterday, he released a stark television ad here that shows photos of bloody bodies, including those of children, lying in a street, victims of gang violence. The ad warns that the violent criminals behind those kinds of attacks are sneaking into the U.S., and calls for deportation of illegal aliens ? something most other candidates have shied away from, calling for attrition through better enforcement instead.

The ad blames ‘gutless politicians’ for not acting to secure the borders and remove illegal aliens.

Mr. Tancredo said he has a little money and a short period of time before the caucuses, so he figured he needed to make as much of an impact as he could. But he said he wasn’t going for shock value in order to try to regain territory.

These are some of the loaded, biased questions Univision will be asking.

Questions for Republicans:

1. The American economy is dependent upon the labor and consumer buying power of undocumented workers in order to sustain growth. Many American families include a Wife, Husband, Mother or Father who is undocumented while the other spouse and children are US Citizens. In light of these facts, what will you do to stop American Families from being torn apart? Will you support a path to citizenship for these much needed workers and family members who have strong ties to our community?

2. Given that we have nearly 50 million people in the US with no health insurance, and that people with insurance are being squeezed by HMOs and out-of-pocket expenses, what will you do to resolve the health care crisis in America?

3. Billions of dollars are wasted every year in America on administrative costs for health insurance paperwork. People and businesses are sick of the inefficient system, skyrocketing costs, and profit-taking by private corporations getting rich off of sick Americans. What will you do to reform our broken health care system?

4. Many anti-immigrant measures being applied in the US involve racial profiling which puts all Hispanics, including citizens, in jeopardy. Anti-immigrant sentiment also hurts the businesses of Latino citizens. With the exception of John McCain, why have the republican candidates taken such a hostile stance against the Hispanic community and chosen to use undocumented immigrants as a political punching bag for political benefit?

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Washington Times

Only about half of Hispanic immigrants who have earned U.S. citizenship can speak English well or even somewhat well, a new study has found, even though the citizenship test usually requires immigrants to demonstrate English proficiency.

The Pew Hispanic Center’s study also found most Hispanic immigrants overall ? U.S. citizens, legal immigrants and illegal aliens ? don’t speak English in their homes or at their workplace, though their children do.

Pew examined years of polling and found only 35 percent of Hispanic naturalized citizens speak English very well and that another 17 percent speak it pretty well. But 11 percent of naturalized citizens said they don’t speak English at all.

?It’s possible several years ago the tests weren’t taken with the same degree of seriousness,? said Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for research at the center, a nonpartisan think tank.

English-language skills of immigrants have become a major point of focus in the immigration debate. The presidential candidates in both parties now agree on the need to encourage better English, but Congress is in the middle of a fight over whether the Bush administration should sue a business that requires employees to speak English on the job.

The citizenship test is administered as a series of questions immigrants must answer. The law does allow elderly immigrants to become citizens without having to demonstrate English skills.

The Bush administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Salvation Army store in Massachusetts, charging that the store discriminated by giving two employees a year to learn English and then firing them when they failed to do so.

D’Vera Cohn, one of the authors of the report, said the bright side of the equation is that naturalized citizens speak English far better than noncitizens, and said by the second generation the vast majority of Hispanic immigrants do speak English well.

Only 23 percent of Hispanic immigrants speak English fluently, and another 12 percent speak it pretty well, but 88 percent of their adult children are fluent, the report found.

?For most immigrants, English is not the primary language they use in either setting. But for their grown children, it is,? the report’s authors said.

Still, the report can only say how the previous generation of immigrants’ children performed, it can’t say how children of today’s immigrants will do, said Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants a crackdown on illegal entry into the U.S. and a slowdown in legal immigration.

?You’re looking at adults who grew up in a time of very low immigration. The children being born to Hispanic immigrants today, or even in the ’90s, are being born in a completely different environment,? he said.

He said the sheer size of today’s Hispanic immigrant community and the businesses and media outlets that cater to them in Spanish makes their experience different.

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New Haven, CT (AP) — Five Spanish-speaking immigrants have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a requirement that workers only speak English on the job at a Deep River machine shop.

The five, who are in this country legally, have filed a discrimination suit against

GC Industries, a company that makes and finishes sheet metal.

At GC Industries a ‘Common Language Policy’ posted on the bulletin board requires employees to speak English during work hours, except during breaks and lunch. The company notice cites safety, product quality and efficiency.

Policies dictating English in the workplace may be legal if a company can show a legitimate safety or business reason, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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