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January 26, 2009

Teaching English to immigrants

Since Timothy Johnson (1/16, Letters) claims that too many Americans are unwilling to teach English to immigrants, I should point out that it certainly helps if the teacher is bilingual. That’s one reason it’s much easier to learn English in the U.S. than to learn Spanish in Mexico.

The reason so many immigrants don’t make the effort to learn our principal language is because they don’t really need to anymore. It is the sheer volume of immigrants, not lack of teachers, that makes them “able to spread their languages across our country.”

This is more than mere immigration, Mr. Johnson, this is cultural invasion. So please temper your “disgust” the next time you feel like telling someone to “shut up.”

David B. Smith
Kansas City

Comments

TinaMcG

My dream is to hire a landscaping company that employs hardworking people who speak good English and know how to plant and care for trees and shrubs. My experience so far in Kansas is that there are plenty of hardworking people who do not speak English and are clueless to the point of costing me a lot of money. I will NEVER allow someone to work on our property if I suspect they aren't legal and if they don't speak English. NEVER AGAIN. I'm tired of not being able to let them know they're about to rototill through a phone line or that I really really MEAN it when I tell them to remove the freaking burlap before they plant the tree. These people cost me almost a thousand bucks in dead evergreens last year.

Spring is coming. Birds will sing, tulips will poke their heads through the soil -- and Tina will begin her annual quest for a landscaping company that has a clue.

Pub 17

No, but what's different here is that we have the means to stop illegal immigration cold in its tracks, for maybe the first time in history, and we're not doing it. In my last tour through grad school we were talking about immigration into Europe, which has been drawing gastarbeiterin like flies because of the low birth rate for decades. The kindly prof pointed out that you could make a case for those countries with the weakest applicable laws being those with the strongest lobbyists for industrialists. Who's blocking effective control of illegal immigration in THIS country? Because it ain't rocket science.

solomon

Pub,

Wasn't defending illegal immigration, just stating the fact the if you look at the migratory history of the worlds population it is a normal occurrence. Whatever laws and defenses (such as you describe) are implemented or upheld, the only way to stop the migration of people from a poor section to a section of opportunity is a state of hostility, closed borders, armed troops and a wall (in this case from Brownsville to San Diego). Maybe this is a case of the Carlin view, stop immigration by lining up and executing the American citizens who employ them as everything from nannies and roofers.

I do not foresee that happening, do you?

Pub 17

Way off on this one, solomon. Illegal immigration isn't a force of nature. The reason I started posting here as Pub 17 in the first place was because, at least at the time, you could call IRS and have them send you all your W-2 and 1099 information for the last six years, and could thus discover if anyone was using your TIN. Illegal immigration would stop in five minutes with a simple TIN validity check. It would cost a tiny fraction of the ridiculous border fence. No valid TIN, no workee. Problem solved.

solomon

I have stated here before, illegal and legal immigration from our southern neighbors are natural occurrences when you look at world history. People have been moving into neighboring countries for reasons such as war, famine, displacement by stronger invaders and yes, the promise of work and a better life since the beginning of time.

Although we have a real problem with illegal immigration, it is like making a law against earthquakes. Saying its against the law is contradictory, as there are two laws, human and national at issue here.

 
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