Thursday, 22 July 2010

Homer, Ill makes English (and discrimination) official.

For this week's Talk the Talk, the leadership of Homer, Illinois caught my attention. They've made English their official language.
Homer Township officials acknowledge illegal Immigration hasn't been an issue in the municipality of approximately 30,000 people. And documents for the township about 35 miles southwest of Chicago have always been printed in English with no requests for other languages.

But the township's board passed a resolution without opposition Monday making English its official language.
So why did they do it?
[Steve Balich, the township's clerk and the resolution's author] said the opposition to the Arizona law has troubled him and that he believes illegal immigrants burden taxpayers through demands for public services and schools. He hoped the resolution would stimulate more nationwide discussion.
Yes, that's the Arizona law that
would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.
Well, you have to admire their honesty. Usually the advocates of 'English Only' claim they're trying to encourage immigrants to learn English (while cutting funds for ESL teaching), or trying to save money by not printing forms in other languages (thus blocking non-English speakers from getting legal or medical help they need). But here, they're sticking up for the right to harass minorities.

Which is the whole point of English Only in the first place.

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