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Old 01-13-2008, 12:29 PM
 
417 posts, read 1,376,465 times
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I was standing in a checkout line at a grocery store and three very dark skinned Hispanic men were checking out in front of me and the cashier was trying to speak to them in english. They did not understand a word she was speaking. When my term came in line the cashier told me how much she hated illegal aliens-- like those guys. She went on to say if they were coming to our country do so legally and speak english.

The cashier assumed that because they were working class types (they were doing landscaping), were not able to speak english and were very dark skinned Hispanic Indian types, they must of been illegal aliens.

In Arizona they say if you look at a spanish speaking person who does not know english there is a seventy percent chance they are illegal.

I also assume that too, based on statistics and the lack of legal visas for working class hispanics, but who knows. What would you assume?

Last edited by questioner2; 01-13-2008 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:40 PM
 
Location: California
3,432 posts, read 266,913 times
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My grandparents speak very little English and they are legal residents. The ones speaking English like Americans are the children of illegals (who are American citizens) and children of immigrants in general.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,100 posts, read 24,263,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by questioner2 View Post
I was standing in a checkout line at a grocery store and three very dark skinned Hispanic men were checking out in front of me and the cashier was trying to speak to them in english. They did not understand a word she was speaking. When my term came in line the cashier told me how much she hated illegal aliens-- like those guys. She went on to say if they were coming to our country do so legally and speak english.

The cashier assumed that because they were working class types (they were doing landscaping), were not able to speak english and were very dark skinned Hispanic Indian types, they must of been illegal aliens.

I also assume that too, based on statistics and the lack of legal visas for working class hispanics, but who knows. What would you assume?
No, I do not assume they are illegal. That to me is silly
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:46 PM
 
8,972 posts, read 10,601,022 times
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I'll jump in here, though this thread will probably "melt down" soon. Here goes--
It's pretty hard to learn English on a Spanish-speaking landscaping crew. This I know from first-hand experience.

However, there's a difference in speaking Spanish (in the US)---in preferring it--and in being comfortable in it---and in "not being ABLE to speak English" when that becomes neccessary. Becoming a legal citizen takes time--(about 5 years minimum last I heard). If you've been here 5 years or more, and are STILL unable to communicate with a checkout clerk, you haven't been doing your homework.

So I'd say, a person who is GENUINELY unable speak even "checkout-line English"---or the very basic phrases such as this....COULD be illegal....maybe....

It's not a 'sure thing', and one MAY be wrong. But it's a clue. People may PREFER Spanish--or any other language...but should be able, if they're here legally, to at least navigate through a checkout line in simple English. (Assuming, of course, that the clerk wasn't just intentionally being a 'jerk')...

Of course, it might ALSO be nice if the clerk took the time to learn a little "checkout-line Spanish"-just a thought...
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Maryland
15,181 posts, read 10,147,843 times
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Language

Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who on the date of filing:

have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 15 years or more and are over 55 years of age;

have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 20 years or more and are over 50 years of age; or

have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant’s ability to learn English.

General Naturalization Requirements
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: California
3,432 posts, read 266,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
I'll jump in here, though this thread will probably "melt down" soon. Here goes--
It's pretty hard to learn English on a Spanish-speaking landscaping crew. This I know from first-hand experience.

However, there's a difference in speaking Spanish (in the US)---in preferring it--and in being comfortable in it---and in "not being ABLE to speak English" when that becomes neccessary. Becoming a legal citizen takes time--(about 5 years minimum last I heard). If you've been here 5 years or more, and are STILL unable to communicate with a checkout clerk, you haven't been doing your homework.

So I'd say, a person who is GENUINELY unable speak even "checkout-line English"---or the very basic phrases such as this....COULD be illegal....maybe....

It's not a 'sure thing', and one MAY be wrong. But it's a clue. People may PREFER Spanish--or any other language...but should be able, if they're here legally, to at least navigate through a checkout line in simple English. (Assuming, of course, that the clerk wasn't just intentionally being a 'jerk')...

Of course, it might ALSO be nice if the clerk took the time to learn a little "checkout-line Spanish"-just a thought...

I believe anyone can navigate through a check-out line with out speaking English. If you know how much money $50 is, then you can go through a check out line. But some places have the self-checkout which is in different languages.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,063 posts, read 11,505,204 times
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Sorry, but that's just plain lazy. Who doesn't go to a foreign country, even as a tourist, and learn at least some words to get by -- ordering food in a restaurant, purchasing something in a store, finding essentials such as a bathroom? I don't care if those men were illegal, legal and living here permanently, or legally working here for a short time, not learning at least some words in English and expecting others to deal with them in Spanish is lazy and arrogant. What does a Spanish-English dictionary cost? $6?
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:30 PM
 
8,972 posts, read 10,601,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProLogic View Post
I believe anyone can navigate through a check-out line with out speaking English. If you know how much money $50 is, then you can go through a check out line. But some places have the self-checkout which is in different languages.

Well of course that's true--the OP mentioned a "clerk"....I assumed the clerk was serving the customers. A 'self-service' line would have by-passed this problem.
The whole thread is just speculation, of course. No one truly "knows" another's status without proof. Maybe the 'dark-skinned guys' were really college students working on a term paper. Maybe the store clerk herself was illegal. No one knows..... we can only assume. Maybe the clerk was unable to speak Spanish, and only ASSUMED the guys were speaking Spanish....they might have been speaking French or German or Tagalog.

You know, of course, what happens to BOTH of us, when we "assume".....
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:36 PM
 
7,138 posts, read 9,368,201 times
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Sometimes using cash only is a clue also they may be illegals. Especially if paying with large bills. I see hispanics paying through the line with $100 bills and have to wonder. They should at some point have a checking account and/or check card if they are legal. I personally would just be a little wary carrying around those large sums of cash in my pocket/purse. Living in a border state, one is able to size up fairly quickly who is who....
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: California
3,432 posts, read 266,913 times
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The only way we will know if someones actually illegal is if we ask them. In which they probably answer. I bet we wouldn't ask a Mexican with white skin and blue eyes if he's illegal.
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