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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Official English’ bill draws crowd to committee hearing

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January 31, 2007

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— Supporters of making English the official language of Kansas said Wednesday the change will encourage immigrants to assimilate.

"It would reaffirm our melting pot tradition," Ben Piper, a spokesman for the Arlington, Va.-based ProEnglish, told the House Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee.

But opponents of House Bill 2140 said the measure was discriminatory, divisive and could hinder efforts by local governments to provide necessary information.

The committee took no action on the legislation, but Chairman Don Myers, R-Derby, who wrote the bill, appointed a subcommittee to work on it.

Myers said the bill was necessary to help "those who are not proficient to move in that direction."

Piper said studies show that immigrants who become proficient in English earn much more than those who don't.

But opponents said the bill was mean-spirited and unnecessary because most immigrants try to learn English as quickly as possible.

"The tone of this proposal is isolationist and narrow-minded and unfriendly," said state Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth.

The proposal would designate English as the official language of Kansas and local government entities would be required to provide information or written materials in English only. Governments would still be allowed the option of providing information in other languages.

But several officials from cities said they feared the legislation would impede their efforts in serving their communities.

"Our customers speak a variety of languages," City Manager Robert Halloran of Garden City said in written testimony. "Limiting your audience to just English in Garden City dramatically reduces the number of people you effectively serve."

Steve Cadue, chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, said the measure would inhibit those who speak other languages.

"Let us genuinely embrace diversity and learn from each other," Cadue said.

He and several others asked the committee to endorse "English Plus," which emphasizes the importance of learning English while also promoting the learning of other languages.

Comments

Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

Many illegal aliens have been displaced by technology.

It's so sad to see machines replace hand picked food.

I hope that they can find other work in this country.

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Frank Smith 7 years, 2 months ago

Does this mean that if Dubya comes back to Kansas on the taxpayer's dime, maybe to save Tiahrt next time, he'll have to speak English?

No es posible. El presidente es mucho demasiado estðpido.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

Posted by ASBESTOS (anonymous) on January 31, 2007 at 6:23 p.m.

"u hab a yob?" "I make work very hard."


In the words of the late Freddie Prinz, "Eees not my job, man."

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

Fishman, obviously think you have something important to say. Too bad you chose the wrong language for your forum of choice.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 2 months ago

Pienso si usted quiere vivir en America, sobre todo ilegalmente, usted deberÃ-a aprender a decir el ingles. Y si no le gusta esto, vuelve a de donde alguna vez usted vino.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

English has been the primary language in Kansas for more than 60 years. Where has the legislature been?

If business wants to hire those who do not speak english I guess it's their business however it does keep wages low. Is the business world stingy and greedy? The business that do hire these folks MAY be breaking the law so I say send the owner to Mexico and revoke citizenship.

I am with Marti Crow...

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Fishman 7 years, 2 months ago

Hola, mi espanol es no muy bien, pero yo encontro sabiendo espanol bien para mi. Hay mas diversidad en mi vida ahora, y yo encontro mi esposa porque yo se espanol. Es mas facil a saber dos idiomas en estados unidos, y hay mas oportunidades para mi ahora. Es no horible a saber mas que solomente ingles. Viajando es mas divertido para mi desde yo se espanol. Es muy bien a entender sus cultura, pero es necesario a hablar espanol. Chau, Chris "Gringo"

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one_time 7 years, 2 months ago

Wait, I have an idea, let's build "schools" and we can have the immigrants send their kids to these schools and keep them there until they learn english, learn american "culture", and a trade skill so they can be of service to americans.......why does this sound so familiar????hmmmmmm....

It seems like this is one of those "government eradication" policies like killing buffalo. If you are two dumb by this point to figure out anything, the government could create a law to KILL indians so they were creative and killed the primary source of food of the indians. And also, the government put indians in boarding "schools" so they could learn english!

I'm sure the people of the early time period felt the same way, if you are going to live here, better learn the language...yada..yada...bullcrap

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one_time 7 years, 2 months ago

The State of Arizona has a law/amendment/whatever that designates English as the states primary language. It's not a new concept, however, in order to preserve native american history, the tribal languages of the state were exempt from the law.

Just a FYI.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Now, I do have to say that I watch Univision frequently and absolutely LOVE Don Francisco.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 2 months ago

Also Mexican Pacific paradises--forgot to add that in.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 2 months ago

"Does Mexico print all their signs, etc. in English for us?"-KS

Pretty much in many coastal areas......and it's done for a reason we've all heard of:

Tourism

If not for Americans blowing lotsa bucks in Mexicos Caribbean locales---they'd still be hanging dead chickens in an open market and drinking foul water.

Now, a Mexicans version of tourism, in America, is a little different.

Still though, compared to what the far-lefts' vision of what America should be, Mexico is looking better all the time.

Love you guys, you've enlightened me greatly.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

I recommend adding Esperanto.

Thanks.

Marion.

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gbulldog 7 years, 2 months ago

Questions to the business community and government officials: 1. Are job applicants required now to be multi lingual? 2. Are current job holders subject to be terminated or denied promotion because they are not multi lingual? 3. Are business required to post a sign of language they are able to communicate in? I have experienced a clerk in a US conveniece store who pretented they did know English. 4. How much will our taxes increase to pay for the coversion to a multi lingual system? Think about the cost of highway signs, lawbooks, law enforcement, education instituions, etc. 5. This newpaper is published in English and the website is English. If there is not an official language, what languages should legal notices be published in? 6. If a person, a legal resident of the US, applies for a job but does not understand English, can that person sue if they are not hired?

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Baille 7 years, 2 months ago

"Does Mexico print all their signs, etc. in English for us?"

And if Mexico jumped off a bridge...

"It would reaffirm our melting pot tradition," Ben Piper.

I have always preferred a salad to queso. Maybe Piper should return to spreading his waste-of-time ideas in Virginia.

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budwhysir 7 years, 2 months ago

Is it necessary to take the time to debate this into a law???????

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

ASBESTOS;

You certainly know your stuff!

And you are correct.

Thanks.

Marion.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

When the laws are not enforced and you keep a group ignorant they can then be exploited. That is what is occurring with illegal aliens. To support the illegal aliens and the pathe to amnesty is to support exploitation.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

Bob is linked up with the group that ripped off the Vietnamese by paying them little and charging hourly rates and pocketing it. He did the same with illegals. He needs to be investigated. Will someone please call IRS and ICE on this guy!!

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mom_of_three 7 years, 2 months ago

You expect immigrants to learn English quickly enough to understand important documents and to make important decisions. Come on. English will take a while to learn, even by the most eager immigrant. It's only fair to print documents in other languages.
Heck, even those of us who have spoken English since we were born have trouble understanding all the jargon used in some written materials.

"But opponents said the bill was mean-spirited and unnecessary because most immigrants try to learn English as quickly as possible. "The tone of this proposal is isolationist and narrow-minded and unfriendly," said state Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth."

I totally agree.
Now bash on.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

I am well acquainted with Bob Halloran and he has been a pimp for the illegal immigrant community in Garden City, Kansas for years.

Thanks.

Marion.

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macon47 7 years, 2 months ago

PRESS ONE FOR ENGLISH

THATS IT NO CHOICE

LEARN IT OR GO HOME

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TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 2 months ago

"I'm trying to imagine moving to a foreign country and expecting them to pay for printing out & maintaining all their official documents in English for me so that I could function perfectly well there without ever having to learn their language.."

I don't know if it's so much that they EXPECT it, it's just that it's what we've always done and the immigrants have grown used to it. We have made it easy for people to get by with very little English. But for the record, it isn't really going to kill any of us to learn a bit of Spanish--might even help with that whole "diversity" thing.

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

ASBESTOS, you dingbat! That's not English! That's Korean! :P

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

"I haven't met a hispanic yet that doesn't know a pequeno bit of english"

"u hab a yob?" "I make work very hard."

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

I haven't met a hispanic yet that doesn't know a pequeno bit of english.

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white_mountain 7 years, 2 months ago

"Let us genuinely embrace diversity and learn from each other"

Yes.. let's. In English. It's hard to learn from you when I can't understand you.

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white_mountain 7 years, 2 months ago

Right, KS.. I'm trying to imagine moving to a foreign country and expecting them to pay for printing out & maintaining all their official documents in English for me so that I could function perfectly well there without ever having to learn their language..

I love diversity as much as the next hombre, but people should take some personal responsibility for themselves when they immigrate to another country.

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KS 7 years, 2 months ago

Does Mexico print all their signs, etc. in English for us?

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drederick_tatum 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, culture and diversity and all that stuff is great.... when you can UNDERSTAND what the other cultures are saying. If I moved to Mexico I would try to learn Spanish, so I would be able to communicate with the other Mexicans. Its a pretty simple concept.

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