Archive for December 1st, 2007

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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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Irish Blood, English Heart

Irish blood, English heart, This I’m made of
There is no one on earth I’m afraid of
And no regime can buy or sell me

I’ve been dreaming of a time when
To be English is not to be baneful
To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, Racist or partial

Irish blood, English heart, This I’m made of
There is no one on earth I’m afraid of
And I will die with both of my hands untied

I’ve been dreaming of a time when
The English are sick to death of Labour, And Tories
And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell
And denounce this royal line that still salute him,
And will salute him forever.

Daily Mail

The pop singer Morrissey claims he can no longer live in a Britain he believes lost to an “immigration explosion”.

The former frontman of the Smiths, who is now based in Rome, claimed England was just ‘a memory now’.

The 48-year-old added: “Other countries have held on to their basic identity yet it seems to me that England was thrown away.

“The change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country.

“If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent.

“You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.

“The British identity is very attractive, I grew up into it and I find it quaint and very amusing.”

Morrissey, who has sung of his love for English culture and can count Tory leader David Cameron as a fan, is the son of an Irish immigrant family which settled in Manchester.

In 1986, when The Smiths released their critically-acclaimed album The Queen is Dead, the UK had a population of 56million.

It now stands at 60million and some predict that could almost double by 2081.

Morrissey’s comments were made in interviews with the music magazine NME.

In the mid-1990s he was accused of racism after wearing a Union Jack on stage and releasing the songs Bengali in Platforms [lyrics] and the ironically-named National Front Disco [lyrics].

The singer’s supporters insisted he had been seeking only to reclaim the flag from extremists.

Tim Jonze, the reporter who conducted the interview, said: “Morrissey has had a stormy relationship with this magazine and its readers over the last three decades.

“He might once have been the voice of a generation but given his comments in these two interviews, he’s certainly not speaking for us now.”

Morrissey before the invasion.

Why do you come here ?
And why do you hang around ?
I’m so sorry
I’m so sorry

Why do you come here
When you know it makes things hard for me ?
When you know, oh
Why do you come ?

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The county’s plan may be replicated across the country now that it has withstood a legal challenge.

Chron.com

ALEXANDRIA, Va. ? A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Friday that challenged a suburban Washington county’s recent effort to clamp down on illegal immigrants, one of the toughest such crackdowns in the country.

U.S. District Judge James Cacheris said the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to challenge measures passed earlier this year by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

One of resolution requires police to check the immigration status of people they detain if they have reason to suspect the person is an illegal immigrant. A second seeks to deny numerous county services to illegal immigrants, including business licenses, drug counseling, housing assistance and some services for the elderly.

County attorneys successfully argued that the plaintiffs could not show they had suffered from the measures, which have not yet been fully implemented.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a leading supporter of the crackdown, said he believes the county’s plan may be replicated across the country now that it has withstood a legal challenge.

“Some of the best litigators in the country came up with the best arguments they could come up with … and at the end of the day it was tossed out by a judge,” Stewart said.

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund sued the county on behalf of a group including legal and illegal immigrants and the Woodbridge Workers Committee, an organization of day laborers in Prince William County. As a whole, they argued that they would suffer racial discrimination from police who would suspect them of being illegal immigrants because they are Hispanic.

They also argued that Hispanic families are already suffering real harm, including the fear that parents who are illegal and children who are U.S. citizens born in this country will be split up.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Christina Sarchio said she is considering an appeal. Another option would be to refile the lawsuit with different plaintiffs who have been detained by police in connection with the new policy, she said.

Considered part of metropolitan Washington, Prince William County has seen its Hispanic population more than double since 2000, to nearly 70,000, according to Census Bureau estimates.

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