More languages on the ballot?
Jun 26, 2012 | 16252 views | 0 0 comments | 500 500 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

State Senator Toby Stavisky and Assemblyman David Weprin have introduced legislation requiring that voters be provided information in three more languages - Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi - bringing a total of nearly a dozen languages for voting information. I have a much better idea: provide voting information in only one language - English.

This is our common language for business, social, and political communications. People who refuse to learn it should not have the right to vote, drive, welfare benefits, rent subsidies, or any other entitlements and privileges.

One reason for the rising tide of anti-immigration sentiment is that immigrants' earlier goal of assimilation - blending into the fabric of America - has been replaced by accommodation.

Store signs in Flushing are a glaring example of this. When my grandparents came here from Europe in the 1920's, they learned English because they had to in order to survive. Providing multi-lingual information discourages new immigrants from learning our nation's common language.

During the GOP primaries, Mitt Romney stated that English should become the official language of the U.S., but he's softened his stance now that he's courting the Hispanic vote in the general election. Voters should hold his feet to the fire on this commitment.

Government has an obligation to provide English-language instruction for new immigrants. But it is not obligated to allow them to vote if they refuse to learn English. The Constitution has no provision for

this privilege. The ultimatum for immigrants should be clear: learn English or lose your right to vote.


Richard Reiff


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