English-only speakers face discrimination

To the editor:

The United States is on a path to becoming a bilingual nation. Already in many parts of the country, including Nevada, employers favor or only hire bilingual job applicants, and retail businesses post signs in English and Spanish. If a business can sell more by having bilingual employees and signs in English and Spanish, then that is what it does.

The government is subtly supporting the transition to bilingualism with immigration reform, funding for English Language Learner programs and passivity in regard to business signage and communication. In effect, the government is saying, “Not only will we let you stay here, we’ll train you to become bilingual and have an advantage in the workplace. Further, we’ll allow businesses to post bilingual signage.”

These policies discriminate against English-only speakers. If the government is going to provide funding for English Language Learner programs, then it should also provide funding for Spanish Language Learner programs for English-only speakers (“Final Nevada public schools budget sent to governor,” Monday reviewjournal.com). Further, our education system should, from day one, train our children to be bilingual, so that everyone is on equal footing in the workplace.

ROGER WITCHER

LAS VEGAS

Crooked politics

To the editor:

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that former lobbyist and Nevada real estate developer Harvey Whittemore has been convicted of unlawfully funneling campaign contributions to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (“Former lobbyist guilty,” May 30).

Imagine that: a powerful political leader’s re-election campaign accepted dubious funding that turned out to be illegal contributions. Who’d have ever thought that would occur? I believe this was big-time politics as usual, and I doubt anyone in Nevada is surprised.

STEVEN G. HAYES SR.

LAS VEGAS

Driving rights

To the editor:

Now that Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed the bill allowing illegal immigrants to drive, I have a concern. I’ve read that they will still have to show proof of insurance. What I don’t see is something telling me that the test they’ll take will be in English. If it’s not, then the whole thing is just more of the Democrats protecting their voting bloc.

DOUGLAS MURPHY

LAS VEGAS

Illegal immigration

To the editor:

In Monday’s article on driver’s authorization cards (“Law fosters freedom, safety”), we learn that Maribel Salivar only drives when it’s a “matter of life and death,” because she broke our laws and entered the United States without permission. She’s been here five years. 

New York City is even thinking of letting illegal immigrants vote in local elections. What a country.

The left keeps telling us we can’t deport 11 million people, so we have to give them amnesty. The more conservative states such as Arizona, Alabama and Georgia don’t have that problem. The article tells us illegal immigrants in those states self-deport to other states. Common sense would tell me that if every state were forced to do what these conservative states are doing, the majority of illegal immigrants would have no choice but to self-deport.

And when the lawsuits reach the Supreme Court on whether these immigrants are eligible for ObamaCare, what do you think the outcome will be? I’m betting they’ll say everyone on U.S. soil is entitled to ObamaCare, whether here legally or illegally.

ROBERT GARDNER

HENDERSON

More fees

To the editor:

Glenn Cook’s Sunday column (“And the session’s winners are …”) pretty much confirmed what we were expecting: additional taxes and fees for residents. The public employee pension bubble isn’t sustainable, so I hope they have a Plan B when it finally bursts.

As to the $50 million fund going into programs to improve English proficiency of students who speak another language at home, are you kidding me? I’m a child of legal immigrant parents, and the first language I learned was Greek. When I first entered the public school system, I didn’t know one word of English, but I learned how to speak it fluently without any special programs that would cost additional taxpayer money.

Who decided that we need adjunct programs to teach English to students when so many others in the past have had no problem learning how to speak the language? This might not be a popular suggestion, but perhaps the parents of those students needing extra help ought to pay for the program.

ANNOULA WYLDERICH

LAS VEGAS

ELL a misnomer

To the editor:

English Language Learner programs are misnamed. Why not cut to the chase and call them what they are: English classes for Hispanics. Does anyone know of any other taxpayer-funded program for any other ethnicity?

I know a young lady who legally immigrated eight years ago from the Philippines. She learned fluent English the old-fashioned way, by herself and through friends and family, just as my maternal grandparents from Denmark did when they arrived in Utah in 1870. She’s now teaching my granddaughter her native Tagalog as a second language.

I’m greatly disturbed that a taxpayer-financed employee, Sylvia Lazos, would ask, “What does it take to give these kids a chance to succeed?” I’d ask Ms. Lazos, the director of the Immigration Clinic at the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas: What evidence do you have that providing these services will really make any difference? Why do her concerns only involve legal/illegal Spanish-speaking folks? I know of no other immigrant nationality that hasn’t worked independently to assimilate and get ahead.

It’d be absolutely wrong to assume that I’m anti-Hispanic, but Spanish appears to be the only language causing all the public/political learning language problems.

McRAE HAMBLIN

LAS VEGAS

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