Texas Talking Points: English Only Laws

The next part in our series… English Only Laws. Compiled by Texas superstar Greisa (Texas A & M, College Station).

English-only ordinances are a bad solution to a problem that does not exist. Government business is already almost exclusively done in English.

English Only advocates complain bitterly about expenditures to translate federal documents into other languages. But the U.S. General Accounting Office investigated the practice and could find only 265 such documents over a five-year period, out of 400,000 titles produced by the Government Printing Office between 1990 and 1994.(1)That is, 99.94 percent of the publications were printed in English. GAO, “Federal Foreign Language Documents,” D-95-253R (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995).

English-only ordinances would place the health and safety of all Americans at risk. Federal agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are critical in the case of a natural disaster like Katrina (1), an Avian Flu pandemic, or an act of terrorism. If LEP persons do not understand instructions or written information from FEMA or the CDC, all Americans will be negatively impacted. In the Eye Of The Storm: How the Government and Private Response to Hurricane Katrina Failed Latinos:, NCLR

Our immigrant community understands that English-language acquisition is important. English-only ordinances do nothing to/would not increase the use of the English language. Immigrant adults want to learn English but have few opportunities to do so. All over the country, English language learners face long waiting lists for adult ESL classes. “The ESL Logjam” NALEO Educational Fund, Oct. 06’

English-only laws are a violation of our fundamental civil rights.
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act along with Executive Order 13166 determines that any local government department receiving federal funds must provide its services in multiple languages, because the law says we cannot discriminate against individuals based on national origin. Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.,Sec. 42.104

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27 thoughts on “Texas Talking Points: English Only Laws

  1. One of the requirements of becoming a legal citizen is that they learn english. It is the illegals who are being catered to. It is dangerous for them not to know the language of the Country they are living in. Common sense!

    • Read the part where it says, “Immigrant adults want to learn English but have few opportunities to do so…”

      • I disagree. Knowledge is available to learn…. Seek out wisdom and it shall come to you. WTF is wrong with you? YOU are a sell-out….Defending others whom chose Not to utilize the options available. If people choose to be ignorant, they do not deserve pity. I will obtain all I can in my life. Thats whats wrong now. People like You selling out. Wake-up! WE deserve priority. You’re in America MF, a lot of us are not only sick of the dumb sh**, but will soon become proactive in taking back what is ours. You had better be a soldier about it….only the strong will survive. Think about what I’m saying…think long and hard. I hope you dream about it, breathe it….until it strikes you as a reality. You seem inexperienced at realities of life. You may be one of the weak ones who will not survive.

      • and some people do not have the chance to learn thesse things because in the countries the come from do not have good education. And here not many people jumping to help them. Cus everyone is an ass like you who thinks they are better than everyone else well your not so get over your self.

    • After all who in the USA speaks Real English, we have a bastard language
      that consist as those that live here. French, English, German, Latin,
      and others …So think before you speak to condemn ! You may be
      surprised that even those that are seeking this method are not as
      educated as they think, does the the word or phrase “Duh or Double Duh
      mean something to you?”

  2. There needs to be more ESL classes available to those who want to learn English. Some of these classes can be held online for those who cannot get into a class. This would be a great way for chuches and other community organizations to get to know their neighbors.

    • Have you heard of Rosetta Stone? You could BUY a program to learn English. Or advertise in the newspaper for an English language tutor. Oh wait, you’d have to pay for it and you’re looking for a free hand out.

      • Having worked outside the United States (oilfield), its funny how most of the low skilled American workers working outside the U.S. are reluctant to learn the language of the land and demand to be spoken to in English from the locals. Guess its general statement that the uneducated refuse to adjust to their environment and learn the language of the land, whether it’d be an undocumented working min wage in America or an American working for $300,000 a year in Brazil.

      • There are arrogant people everywhere that expect to be catered to. My son is going to visit Vietnam for 1 week and he bought a program to learn the language. And he is only visiting.

  3. Why don’t you put links to where you are getting your facts so they can be fact-checked? Most sites like this do that so people can directly link to the document or source you are citing. And if every local govt. must provide services in multiple languages that is not a small percentage nor a small cost. And which languages exactly are on the required list? My grandmother is from Finland, are the FEMA and CDC providing information in Finnish? Can she go to local govt. services and get forms and paperwork in Finnish or be provided with a translator? Or is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act you cited excluding Finnish individuals and so violating their civil rights? I have only seen that individuals of Hispanic origin are being catered to in this way.

    • Try this awesome thing called “Google”. You can just plug in the references and fact check for yourself. Welcome to America.
      And if your grandmother wants documents in Finnish, I am sure that if she requests them, they’ll be provided. I have seen services provided in Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Portugese, Yoruba, and Farsi. Isn’t it awesome to live in a wonderful country where we have people come from all over the world? It’s a uniquely American experience, don’t you think?

      • My grandmother made the effort to learn english and so saved taxpaying citizens the cost of having to publish things special for her. She accomplished this despite the “few opportunities”, as did my maternal Hungarian immigrant grandmother. My co-worker, a refugee from vietnam, also learned english despite the “few opportunities”. None of them needed or expected for others to provide them this opportunity, they did it themselves. They also considered learning english to be an essential part of being an American. That’s American without the hyphen.

      • Thats what I’m talking about! They deserve all good things that may come. Besides, No other country would do for us those things we do for them. If so, very small in number. Congrats to your family & friends who took initiative to learn another language so that they may obtain more knowledge. I know if I were to go to another nation, I would want to learn language and culture. I really would want and need to know what is going on around me at all times….for my well being and safety. As for myself….I plan on learning Japanese, Spanish (Spain), and Italian.. Have a nice day.

      • Ummm….SELLOUT BI**H! Hell no it is NOT awesome. You know how many germs and diseases (not to mention criminals) that make their way over here? You are quite the character! Wow. Does anyone agree with ths statement I have made? WE have to protect preserve our own public health and safety. We must have standards.They can keep thier diseases and all the filth they bring… If you come here legally and are clean, have good work ethics them by all means succeed and prosper. If not, then Stay the FU** outta my face and My Country. God Bless America!

  4. Learn English ever other immigrant that came here had to, mine came from Cuba via Spain and they learned English. Also this Dream Activist is very anti-american you want to fill the American dream do what every other immigrant did and become American

  5. The people who are actually citizens, get to make the rules. You dont like it? Dont come here.
    Citizens ALSO have rights. Stop screaming about your rights, while you tread on mine.

    • AMEN! THEY NEED HAVE SOME RESPECT, WAKE UP AND REALIZE THEY ARE IN AMERICA. FORGET ALL THAT OTHER NONSENSE…cryin for sympathy, etc. This lady don’t know what shes talking about. I shoot my pistol off in the air for you an that note! 🙂 God Bless America!

      • and why should anyone respect you who are you?? got to give respect to earn it pinche pendajo. tu no sabe nada de nada. so yea shut your mouth

      • After all who in the USA speaks Real English, we have a bastard language
        that consist as those that live here. French, English, German, Latin,
        and others …So think before you speak to condemn ! You may be
        surprised that even those that are seeking this method are not as
        educated as they think, does the the word or phrase “Duh or Double Duh
        mean something to you?”

  6. I know that
    English only Policy on the country is one way to enhance the language; and to
    enhance the ability of a person to talked. But it would be also an advantage if
    there is a possibility that learning other languages is to implement. 

  7. some of you people are so stupid. ok…. people hello when we go to other countries we are not forced to learn the language. ok And it takes time to become fluent in another language have you even tried your self mr. 100% american. ok and by the way your not truely 100% american everyone has roots that started in another country. and seriously you are no different then them. what if when your ancestors came to this country someone said you know what we dont understand you and sabes que im too lazy to try. haha then where would you be mr. american not here thats for sure or if they deported you for the fact that your family is from a different background that is what we are doing to theese people they have every right to this country as we do. And they are an accet to this country. they bring jobs. help the ecconomy pay taxes and they do work that is 100 time harder than what im sure you do mr american. cus guess what americans are lazy ass people who want every thing handed to them without having to work for it at all. My husband is from ecuador he works sun up until sun down in roofing again a hard job. And in 100 degree temps at times. All he wants to do is provide for his family and provide a good life for the ones hes left behind in ecuador. And yes he worked his ass off to learn english but you know what i complety understand how hard that is when you work 13-15 hour days 7 days a week ther isnt much time left to study another langauge or for your family. I would like to see you become fluent in spanish or any language for that matter its a hard thing i know. If done it but it took me about 5 years and im still not perfect. so maybe you should stop and think before you open your big mouth and judge people about something you know nothing about.

  8. After all who in the USA speaks Real English, we have a bastard language that consist as those that live here. French, English, German, Latin, and others …So think before you speak to condemn ! You may be surprised that even those that are seeking this method are not as educated as they think, does the the word or phrase “Duh or Double Duh mean something to you?”

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