UPDATE 11/20 Below Story
How could an elected official who is payed to represent our needs and wants be so completely out of touch with us? This isn’t like it’s the first time we’ve seen the “woman” behind the curtain. It seems that all of
their attempts to wrangle the immigration issue is coming from another planet. How long will it take for the public who vote for people like Pelosi to understand that when she and other democrats are seemingly ignorant to the people’s wishes and come out saying that the people just “don’t understand the issue” are just calling them stupid? Some polls say that 80% of America want something done about illegal aliens. What do they want done? Certainly not this…
Nancy Pelosi tries to force the Salvation Army to hire people who can’t speak English.
It’s been less than a week since New York’s Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Eliot Spitzer had to climb down from their support of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English. Among the employers targeted by such lawsuits: the Salvation Army.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, a moderate Republican from Tennessee, is dumbstruck that legislation he views as simple common sense would be blocked. He noted that the full Senate passed his amendment to shield the Salvation Army by 75-19 last month, and the House followed suit with a 218-186 vote just this month. “I cannot imagine that the framers of the 1964 Civil Rights Act intended to say that it’s discrimination for a shoe shop owner to say to his or her employee, ‘I want you to be able to speak America’s common language on the job,’ ” he told the Senate last Thursday.But that’s exactly what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is trying to do. In March the EEOC sued the Salvation Army because its thrift store in Framingham, Mass., required its employees to speak English on the job. The requirement was clearly posted and employees were given a year to learn the language. The EEOC claimed the store had fired two Hispanic employees for continuing to speak Spanish on the job. It said that the firings violated the law because the English-only policy was not “relevant” to job performance or safety.
“If it is not relevant, it is discriminatory, it is gratuitous, it is a subterfuge to discriminate against people based on national origin,” says Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas, one of several Hispanic Democrats in the House who threatened to block Ms. Pelosi’s attempts to curtail the Alternative Minimum Tax unless she killed the Alexander amendment.
The confrontation on the night of Nov. 8 was ugly. Members of the Hispanic Caucus initially voted against the rule allowing debate on a tax bill that included the AMT “patch,” which for a year would protect some 23 million Americans from being kicked into a higher income tax bracket.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a moderate from Maryland, was beside himself. Congressional Quarterly reports that he jabbed his finger on the House floor at Joe Baca, the California Democrat who chairs the Hispanic Caucus, and yelled, “How dare you destroy this party? This will be the worst loss in 10 years.”
Mr. Baca was having none of it. “You see this on the [voting] board?,” he yelled back. “This is against me. This is against me personally.” Luckily for Democrats, C-Span’s microphones did not pick up the exchange. But it was audible to reporters in the press gallery. They also heard Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois say that English-only efforts were symbolic of “bigotry and prejudice” against those who speak other languages.
After testy negotiations, the Hispanic Caucus finally agreed to let the tax bill proceed after extracting a promise from Ms. Pelosi that the House will not vote on the bill funding the Justice and Commerce Departments unless the English-only protection language is dropped. “There ain’t going to be a bill” with the Alexander language, Mr. Baca has told reporters.
Sen. Alexander says that if that’s the case, “thousands of small businesses across America will have to show there is some special reason to justify requiring their employees to speak our country’s common language on the job.” He notes that the number of EEOC actions against English-only policies grew to some 200 last year from 32 a decade ago. In an attempt at compromise, he has offered watered-down language that would still allow the EEOC to file many actions, but he says House Democrats rejected it.
Mr. Alexander says his battle is about far more than what language is spoken on a shop floor. “The EEOC actions turn diversity, our greatest strength, against the interests of our common future as Americans,” he told me.
The late Albert Shanker, head of the American Federation of Teachers, once pointed out that public schools were established in this country largely “to help mostly immigrant children learn the three R’s and what it means to be an American, with the hope that they would go home and teach their parents the principles in the Constitution and the Declaration that unite us.”
Mr. Alexander says that noble effort is in danger of being undermined: “We have spent the last 40 years in our country celebrating diversity at the expense of unity. One way to create that unity is to value, not devalue, our common language, English.”
The battle over Mr. Alexander’s amendment is about whether a consensus that used to unite liberals and conservatives in this country can continue to hold. If it can’t, expect the issue to become a flashpoint in the 2008 elections. Republicans have their political problems with Hispanics over some of their approaches to illegal immigration, but they may be nothing compared to the problems Democrats have if they continue to cave in to their anti-assimilation extremists.
Ok given the fact that this is an incredibly hostile issue that is alienating (forgive the pun) 80% of the voters who are legal citizens how can the left kowtow to the Hispanic Caucus crumpling under their strong-arm tactics but still shore up the majority of the left whom are being alienated by Pelosi/Reed/Obama/Clinton’s open border/health care/drivers liscences/college tuition… wait did I say Clinton? As in Hillary Clinton? Wait didn’t she say…
May 1, 2007
Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Washington, DC – Today’s marches underscore the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration system is broken, and it is past time that we came together and implemented an effective policy which respects our immigrant heritage, the rule of law, and human dignity. That is what I am committed to achieving.
A comprehensive solution to our immigration crisis must include strengthening our borders, greater cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar, including learning English. The solution must also protect the sanctity of families and repair the broken, unfair bureaucratic system that forces citizens and lawful immigrants to live apart from their spouses and children.
Although many Republicans have tried to derail attempts at comprehensive immigration reform, I am committed to working with my colleagues to create an immigration system that respects our values. We must insist on comprehensive immigration reform that protects our homeland security and protects the dignity of millions of families who live here. There is a smart and effective, comprehensive solution to the impasse we face, and I will continue to pursue it.
Oh no she didn’t! Oh yes she did. Well, well, well, another flip-flop hits the fan. So we all see the hypocrisy of this. It’s pretty basic, I don’t care if you speak Spanish, BUT when I go to a store/restaurant/ask for directions/say hello to my neighbor then they better well speak fucking English. Tom Tancredo has been a leader on this issue in his 2008 Presidential bit. He of course has absolutlely nooooo shot but at least he’s talking about something that hasn’t been watered down by his staffers so as not to “alienate” anyone (again forgive the pun).
Last night he was speaking on this very issue and was confronted by an Arab woman. She apparently was in complete agreement with Tancredos argument because she not only asked the question in ENGLISH but continued to debate Tancredo in ENGLISH and resorted to trying to “get him” by accusing him of basically being racist…
Tancredo’s comments didn’t go unchallenged last night. One after another, audience members pressed him on his views on language, assimilation and border security, at times leading to heated exchanges.
“I speak the same language as the people that flew into the towers; I speak the same language as all the Iraqis we are killing; I speak many languages, and I’m proud of it,” said Siham Elhamoumi, 22, who recently graduated from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and traveled to the event with a group from the college. “Am I the enemy?” Elhamoumi then pulled her shawl over her head, so it covered her hair. “Am I the enemy if I do this?”
“Do you take us for idiots, for people who have no appreciation of our history?” she asked. “Perhaps you don’t have an understanding of your country right now, of its composition.”
Tancredo repeatedly broke in, asking Elhamoumi to pose a question. He finally asked her a question of his own: “Do you believe that we should replace the Constitution with Sharia law?”
“That is below me,” Elhamoumi replied. “Do not belittle people’s opinions and people’s beliefs and people’s religions. Do not put one religion above the other.”
Tancredo repeatedly insisted that his views on immigration have “nothing to do with race or ethnicity or anything of that nature.” His concern, he said, is national cohesion, whether Americans share the same fundamental principles, whether there is “a singleness of purpose about the idea of America.”
Increasingly, he said, immigrants are failing to assimilate – to learn English and embrace American values – as they did in years past. As evidence, Tancredo cited the existence of a bilingual newspaper in Iowa. “We are seeing the Balkanization of America and the bilingualization, which I do not think is a good idea,” he said.
This is where the left gets us everytime and the whole world knows it! Calling us racist is often a jaw slammer for us. The White Man’s Guilt gets us and DAMNIT we need to stop! This is neither a valid argument nor is it fact. I live in Phoenix, I live with Hispanic people everyday. I neither hate them or wish them ill-will. I do however understand what it’s like to be surrounded by people IN AMERICA who don’t speak English, I do know what it’s like to go to McDonald’s and go to the drive thru, have the person take the order and not understand me when I say “NO PICKLES PLEASE” then have my money taken and food given to me without a thank-you or a have-a-nice-day because the person taking my money has neither the time or the desire to learn the language that is spoken in the country that has taken them in, given them a job, paid for their insurance, educated their children, paid for their families back in Mexico! How about a little gratitude? Oh yeah, and they still… give… me… PICKLES!