Friday, March 14, 2008

English Language--The Candidate's Position

There are a lot of serious issues facing America these days. It like we’re coming apart at our seams. However, as in most crises, there’s safety and strength in numbers. Every time America has been threatened, we’ve pulled together, rolled up our sleeves and got busy. These days, however, the threat is a much internal as it is external. Chief among the key threats is illegal immigration as I’ve so often written about, and our unsecured borders. Despite an overwhelming majority of Americans who demand that our government put an end to open borders and stem the invasion of illegals, our so-called leaders in Washington choose to either give their usual lip service or outright ignore us; both at their political peril I should add.

Closely tied to illegal immigration is the steep decline of English being spoken immigrants. How many times have you called a service provider and was either greeted with a message in Spanish or had to “push 1 for English”? Heck, I even had one service provided in Indiana ask me to “press 2 for English”—it wasn’t even a first choice! How often have you’ve gone to a store (like Wal-Mart) at night and except for the cashier, not heard a word of English?

The failure of a nation to adopt a common language will lead to the failure of the nation. As I’ve often said, language is the thread that binds the fabric of a nation together. It allows us to develop common values and integrate our cultures into this grand melting pot that we call home. It creates strength out of diversity. However, in the name of politically correct “multiculturalism” immigrants are encouraged to “preserve” their heritage by opting out of society. The children of immigrants in many school systems across the nation aren’t even require to take their taxpayer based classes in English. Instead, taxpayers have to pay for them to have in class translators. Driver’s license tests and other public services and documents are now provided in languages other than English. How do we survive as a county and not run the risk of devolving into a balkanized nation if everyone is allowed to opt out of this most basic of requirements? The short and direct answer is we don’t.

With this in mind, and having examined in the last issue where the candidates stand on illegal immigration, I thought I’d see where they stood on English. None of the candidate’s camps would agree to answer my question “Where does your candidate stand on making English the national language of America”. So, I was left with researching their position online.

First up was Hillary Clinton (D). Her comment was the making English the national language would have “negative consequences”. She went on to state “That means in a place like New York City you can’t print ballots in any other language. That means you can’t have government pay for translators in hospitals so when somebody comes in with some sort of emergency there’s nobody there to help translate what their problem is for the doctor.” http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/immigration/entries/2007/06/04/democratic_hopefuls_reject_off.html

Next was the Junior Senator from Illinois, Barak Obama. During the New Hampshire Presidential debate in June of 2007, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked each of the candidates about making English our national language. Senator Obama’s commented with “this is the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us. You know, you're right. Everybody is going to learn to speak English if they live in this country. The issue is not whether or not future generations of immigrants are going to learn English. The question is: How can we come up with both a legal, sensible immigration policy?” (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0706/03/se.01.html)

Republican Senator John McCain responded to the issue by stating, “I think the most practical value is to make English used by all Americans and all citizens, and all who come here. The only way we move up the economic ladder from the bottom rung is to know English. And I would emphasize the importance of every person who comes to this country to become a citizen and enjoy its liberties & beauty is to learn English. And I will do everything I can to help them do that." (2007 Republican primary debate on Dec 9, 2007)

It should be pointed out that both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama did not support a resolution to make English our official language while Senator McCain voted “yea”. You can see their vote, along with that of the other Senators by visiting US Senate Roll Call Votes 109 Congress—2nd Session site at: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00131

Finally, I found it interesting that, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll taken in June of 2006, Eighty-five percent of Americans believed English should be our official language (www.rasmussenreports.com). With that said, the obvious question is why are our elected officials so blatant in ignoring the will of the American People?


Parkland Hospital

Speaking of illegal immigration and language issues, a friend of mine sent me this article about Parkland Hospital in Dallas Texas. For those of you old enough to remember, Parkland is where President Kennedy was taken when he was shot. It was later where his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was taken. I’ve check the story out on Snopes.com. It’s true. I’ve also include the address at the bottom article for Snopes.com so you can check it out too.

Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas is a fairly famous institution and for a variety of reasons:
1. John F. Kennedy died there in 1963
2. Lee Harvey Oswald died there shortly after
3. Jack Ruby-who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, died there a few years later by coincidence.

On the flip side, Parkland is also home to the second busiest maternity ward in the country with almost 16,000 new babies arriving each year. (That's almost 44 per day---every day).

A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants. That's 11,200 anchor babies born every year just in Dallas.

According to the article, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies in 2004 but managed to end up with almost $8 million dollars in surplus funding. Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million, Dallas County taxpayers kicked in $31.3 million and the feds tossed in another $9.5 million.

The average patient in Parkland 'S maternity wards is 25 years old, married and giving birth to her second child.

She is also an illegal immigrant.

By law, pregnant women cannot be denied medical care based on their immigration status or ability to pay. OK, fine. That doesn't mean they should receive better care than everyday, middle-class American citizens. But at Parkland Hospital, they do. Parkland Memorial Hospital has nine prenatal clinics. That's right- NINE.

The Dallas Morning News article followed a Hispanic woman who was a patient at one of the clinics and pregnant with her third child---her previous two were also born at Parkland. Her first two deliveries were free and the Mexican native was grateful because it would have cost $200 to have them in Mexico. This time, the hospital wants her to pay $10 per visit and $100 for the delivery but she was unsure if she could come up with the money. Not that it matters, the hospital won't turn her away. (I wonder why they even bother asking at this point.). How long has this been going on? What are the long-term affects?

Well, another subject of the article was born at Parkland in 1986 shortly after mother entered the US illegally - now she is having her own child there as well. That’s right; she's technically a US citizen.

These women receive free prenatal care including medication, nutrition, birthing classes and child care classes. They also get freebies such as car seats, bottles, diapers and formula. Most of these things are available to American citizens as well but only for low-income applicants and even then, the red tape involved is almost insurmountable.

Because these women are illegal immigrants, they do not have to provide any sort of legitimate identification - no proof of income. An American citizen would have to provide a social security number which would reveal their annual income - an illegal immigrant need only claim to be poor and the hospital must take them at their word.
Parkland Hospital offers indigent care to Dallas County residents who earn less than $40,000 per year. (They also have to prove that they did not re fuse health coverage at their current job. Yeah, the 'free' care is not so easy for Americans).

There are about 140 patients who received roughly $4 million dollars for un-reimbursed medical care. As it turns out, they did not qualify for free treatment because they resided outside of Dallas County so the hospital is going to sue them! Illegals get it all free! But U. S citizens who live outside of Dallas County get sued! How stupid is this?

As if that isn't annoying enough, the illegal immigrant patients are actually complaining about hospital staff not speaking Spanish. In this AP story, the author speaks with a woman who is upset that she had to translate comments from the hospital staff into Spanish for her husband. The doctor was trying to explain the situation to the family and the mother was forced to translate for her husband who only spoke Spanish. This was apparently a great injustice to her.

In an attempt to create a Spanish-speaking staff, Parkland Hospital is now providing incentives in the form of extra pay for applicants who speak Spanish. Additionally, medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern for which Parkland Hospital is the training facility will now have a Spanish language requirement added to their already jammed-packed curriculum. No other school in the country boasts such a ridiculous multi-semester (multi-cultural) requirement. (Sorry for the length, but this needs wide circulation particularly to our 'employees' in Congress.)
Remember that this is only ONE hospital is Dallas, Texas. There are many more hospitals across our country that also has to deal with this.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp

4 comments:

Jeff Noble said...

"There are a lot of serious issues facing America these days. It like we’re coming apart at our seams."

Your words, not mine.

I don't at all think non-English speaking immigrants is one of the big issues facing America these days nor do I believe it to be causing us (US) to come apart at the seams. I do think that second (or third) generation non-English speaking immigrants might be. But, for the most part, we aren't there yet. The legals and the illegals which concern you are for the most part first-generation non-English speaking arrivals. Since this entry isn't about illegals (written with tongue firmly planted in cheek) I'll stick to the language issue.

Among my family tree lines is the surname Hockensmith, my mother's maiden name. It is variously spelled with an N in the middle or otherwise an R in the middle. I am related to both spellings here in Kentucky and throughout the Midwest. In my father's line is the family name Schlenk. They lived in downtown Louisville. My great-grandmother who is buried in the old Eastern Cemetery on Baxter Avenue was a Schlenk and looked every bit as German-Jew as the name sounds. Her father, a Lousiville merchant, strictly spoke German.

In researching my family, there are many stories of German and some less of French being spoken by generations past. The progenitor of the Hockensmith line came to Maryland in the mid 1700s. But German was still being spoken 150 years later in Shelby County by the descendants of that first one. The Schlenk's came to Louisville in the 1800s from Pennsylvania, honestly not too far from where the Hockensmith's settled just south of the true Mason's and Dixon's line, which divides those two states.

I do not expect Spanish speaking folks - and that is really the only people you are talking about here - to entirely adopt the English language in the first or maybe not even the second generation upon arrival here in the States. That isn't the way it was done by our forefathers and it isn't the way it should be done now. But, I do believe that in time they should. But no one dictated to our forebears that time frame and I do not intend to now.

Honestly, I find the whole argument a ruse.

Another Opinion said...

Thanks Jeff. Your comments are always well reasoned and welcome. My ancestors on both sides spoke German too, and no doubt a little Yiddish when no one was looking.

As with your family, no one mandated them to learn English, but learn they did in order to become apart of this nation. Our government didn't spend millions of taxpayer money to "accommodate" them.

They learned the language to become an American and to partake in everything America had to offered. Our ancestors wanted to become fully intergrated Americans as soon as possible.

Nowadays, "mulitculturialism" is encouraged and everyone else has to accomodate them. Personally, I have no problem with people doing just that; just not on my tax dollar.

Anonymous said...

As usual in this issue we agree on many things.

I am sick of wasting billions of our tax dollars each year in english as a second language classes and towards helathcare or any other premise for illegals regardless of nationality (though noted the majority are spanish).

I would even go so far as adopting a resolution on the Council if I win this election to make english the primary language in Louisville.

Someone needs to get the ball rolling.

I could speak volumes about the general consensus feelings of those who believe just because an illegal alien has a child here they should not be considered American by right but that is a whole different subject.

Keep up the good work.

Ed Springston Democrat candidate Metro Council District 14

Anonymous said...

I like your english conversation blog. It's a good blog for learn english conversation