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Old 03-08-2008, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,887 posts, read 17,198,865 times
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To vote in the US, you are supposed to be a US citizen. To be a US citizen, you are supposed to speak at least basic English, and pass an English test before being granted citizenship. The process to obtain citizenship takes at least 3 years for immigrants who marry a US citizen and at least 5 years for those who don't. That means that new citizens have to live here for at least 3 years and learn basic English before the earliest point at which they can legally vote.

Given all these facts, why do various state and local governments spend MILLIONS of dollars each election printing ballots in various languages? Isn't this pandering to people and allowing them to be lazy? Doesn't the new citizen who immigrated from a Spanish speaking country understand that President and Presidente are one and the same?

Can someone please explain to me? Is this just another ploy to allow non-citizens to vote? What other country prints ballots in many languages (except their own official ones) to accomodate immigrants?
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,144 posts, read 42,145,796 times
Reputation: 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
To vote in the US, you are supposed to be a US citizen. To be a US citizen, you are supposed to speak at least basic English, and pass an English test before being granted citizenship. The process to obtain citizenship takes at least 3 years for immigrants who marry a US citizen and at least 5 years for those who don't. That means that new citizens have to live here for at least 3 years and learn basic English before the earliest point at which they can legally vote.

Given all these facts, why do various state and local governments spend MILLIONS of dollars each election printing ballots in various languages? Isn't this pandering to people and allowing them to be lazy? Doesn't the new citizen who immigrated from a Spanish speaking country understand that President and Presidente are one and the same?

Can someone please explain to me? Is this just another ploy to allow non-citizens to vote? What other country prints ballots in many languages (except their own official ones) to accomodate immigrants?
I am perplexed as well.

And; it is not just Spanish either: apparently; Beverly Hills, Calif also prints its election ballots in Farsi due to almost 20% of its population being from Iran.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego
510 posts, read 1,460,089 times
Reputation: 151
I ask this question ALL the time!!! I wish I could add more of an answer, but it frustrates the H*LL out of me!!!

When is this country going to wise-up!?????
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,601 posts, read 31,710,724 times
Reputation: 11741
Definitely, Neil . . . A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

Rather than hitting the taxpayers to cover such ridiculous expenses . . . if any LEGAL Citizen feels more comfortable voting in their first language then they should be required to cover the additional costs involved.

What's wrong with a nominal charge of 10 to 20 bucks for a special language ballot? I have a feeling the demand for those special requests will quickly disappear.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:36 AM
 
8,978 posts, read 16,561,099 times
Reputation: 3020
Pretty clear to me why this happens...so that people who don't speak English won't be "left out" of the political process.

Is this a "smart idea"?....Does it make any SENSE?....Do MOST countries do this? Of course not. Why do WE do this? Probably that's worth a whole new thread...I continue to feel it's largely reflective of our built-in societal guilt, which says, in essence, that "We're wrong, we're mean, and we're bad.....and THEY (whoever 'they' are) are GOOD. Therefore, WE must go to great lengths to accomodate THEM. That's the ONLY way to 'atone' for all the mean treatment we've 'dished out' to all the foreigners around the world. It's the very LEAST we can do".

It's a well-meaning, 'nice' sentiment, but it's completely without any basis in common sense.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:01 AM
 
1,474 posts, read 2,300,547 times
Reputation: 463
Because one of the president's, I think maybe Clinton, signed a bill, executive order 13166 that required election ballots in a native language if a certain population threshold was reached of eligible voters
Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency
The link to the Department of Justice page that full details the law is provided if you want to read it.
Now that being said, Bush had a chance to revoke it and he choose to STRENGTH IT.
Excellent Conservative president isnt he?????

Quote:
[SIZE=3]"Executive Order 13166 makes the inability to speak English a protected civil right. That's right. If you don't understand English, it will be the job of the government to make sure you still get your welfare checks, food stamps and all other government benefits. All you will need to do in any government office to get special treatment is to say "No sprechen sie Deutsch[/SIZE]
Quote:
The congressional Hispanic Caucus has strongly urged President Bush and other members of Congress not to shelve, limit, or repeal the executive order and the guidances. In addition, both the Asian and Hispanic Caucus circulated a "Dear colleague" letter to congressional Democrats asking them to sign a letter in support of the executive order.
Clinton Order Improving Language Access Threatened; Advocates Urge President Bush Not to Rescind or Scale Back Order (http://www.nilc.org/immspbs/la/langaccess005.htm - broken link)

I guess just google clinton executive order 13166 and you will be happy, sad, shocked, dismayed, giggly with delight, angry, Pissed off, Pissed on,
Reading some one trying to convince you that its really sunny when its raining........................Ah shucks folks, you get the point.
Bottom line, The Feds now require it and the states and Locals either comply or have federal money withheld.
I Work for a municipal govt and you would be amazed at the federal money that can be withheld on infrastructure and road projects, Law enforcement and such if federal guidelines aren't up held.
FOr example, federal grants do off sets for police departments to buy bullet proof vest..............But don't follow a federal mandate and that can be withheld.
For example, federal disaster mitigation funds ie....fema money can be withheld it NIMS homeland security courses arenheld for all police and fire employees.
For example.............you get the points
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:17 AM
 
21,026 posts, read 22,158,177 times
Reputation: 5941
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
To vote in the US, you are supposed to be a US citizen. To be a US citizen, you are supposed to speak at least basic English, and pass an English test before being granted citizenship. The process to obtain citizenship takes at least 3 years for immigrants who marry a US citizen and at least 5 years for those who don't. That means that new citizens have to live here for at least 3 years and learn basic English before the earliest point at which they can legally vote.

Given all these facts, why do various state and local governments spend MILLIONS of dollars each election printing ballots in various languages? Isn't this pandering to people and allowing them to be lazy? Doesn't the new citizen who immigrated from a Spanish speaking country understand that President and Presidente are one and the same?

Can someone please explain to me? Is this just another ploy to allow non-citizens to vote? What other country prints ballots in many languages (except their own official ones) to accomodate immigrants?


And they wonder why some of us don't throw open our arms and welcome them to this country !!!????

That's one of the best reasons I've seen!
How LAZY can they be! Learn the language.....it makes friends!!!!



AND it's just one more example of tax money spent for those who AREN'T Americans (or don't really WANT to be).
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,887 posts, read 17,198,865 times
Reputation: 3706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Who?Me?! View Post
AND it's just one more example of tax money spent for those who AREN'T Americans (or don't really WANT to be).
Well, I would disagree that they aren't Americans. It's the fact that they ARE Americans that makes it so frustrating. These are people who have lived in the US for years and have gone through the process of becoming a citizen and passed that process.

What is even more distressing is that if people are so out of touch that they need a translated ballot to be able to vote, then I question if they have any clue who they are voting for and what that person stands for. Are these new citizens able to read a newspaper or listen to a TV new broadcast, or browse the Internet to get the information necessary to make an informed decision? If they can, then surely they don't need a ballot in some foreign language to be able to vote.

Years ago, people immigrated to the US, my relatives among them (my mother became a naturalized citizen in 1952), and they adapted and learned the ways of America. Now it seems that people come here but want America to learn the ways of their previous home and accomodate them in a variety of ways. The sad fact is that instead of politely explaining how it is, our pandering politicians bend over backwards to accomodate...and this is the legal immigrants that we're discussing. Now add on all the accomodation made for those who jump the line and break our laws to get in. It's extremely frustrating. Of course, we're all racists and xenophobes for pointing this out, so I guess in the name of political correctness it will never change.
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:52 PM
 
8,978 posts, read 16,561,099 times
Reputation: 3020
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Well, I would disagree that they aren't Americans. It's the fact that they ARE Americans that makes it so frustrating. These are people who have lived in the US for years and have gone through the process of becoming a citizen and passed that process.

What is even more distressing is that if people are so out of touch that they need a translated ballot to be able to vote, then I question if they have any clue who they are voting for and what that person stands for. Are these new citizens able to read a newspaper or listen to a TV new broadcast, or browse the Internet to get the information necessary to make an informed decision? If they can, then surely they don't need a ballot in some foreign language to be able to vote.

Years ago, people immigrated to the US, my relatives among them (my mother became a naturalized citizen in 1952), and they adapted and learned the ways of America. Now it seems that people come here but want America to learn the ways of their previous home and accomodate them in a variety of ways. The sad fact is that instead of politely explaining how it is, our pandering politicians bend over backwards to accomodate...and this is the legal immigrants that we're discussing. Now add on all the accomodation made for those who jump the line and break our laws to get in. It's extremely frustrating. Of course, we're all racists and xenophobes for pointing this out, so I guess in the name of political correctness it will never change.
Well said...nothing controversial about your position, nor anything racist or xenophobic. It isn't the IMMIGRANTS who've changed over the years, it's the "America" that they're immigrating TO...WE'VE changed, and they're simply responding.

We can't ask 'newcomers' to respect us if we don't respect ourselves. And what we're doing, by going to 'silly', completely unneccessary lengths to 'accomodate' new arrivals, rather than requiring THEM to accomadate US, is simply ridiculous, and it doesn't earn their rerspect, it probably earns their contempt. No WONDER they don't "value" citizenship.."Why Buy the Cow, when the Milk is Free?" (an old saying referring to ANOTHER situation, in which 'giving it away' fails to earn respect)...

If we treat the concept of "coming to America" as nothing more serious than showing up at a "Job Fair", then we can hardly be surprised when the "applicants" fail to be 'awed' by us....PARTICULARLY when they see that OTHERS aren't even required to enter legally, and they STILL get "the benefits".

Respect must be EARNED. Those who fail to DEMAND respect aren't going to get it....
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:58 PM
 
83 posts, read 271,243 times
Reputation: 60
Whether or not we should federally require all our citizens to learn English is another debate, but I think this is more about whether or not we get to select who participates in the democratic process. Everyone who votes is a citizen, right? And all citizens have the right to vote. So what does it matter what language they speak? It's not as though people who speak different languages than us aren't affected by the same issues we have in this country. To deny someone the right to vote based on the fact that they cannot speak fluent English is inconceivable and goes against everything we as Americans stand for.
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