29 August 2008

English Only

A recent debate has opened up in Nashville again with the reintroduction of the "English Only" bill before the city council. If passed, Nashville would be one of the first in the nation to take such sweeping measures. While Amnesty International does not take an official stand on this issue, we would like to take this time to remind everyone that they come from a grand tradition of immigrants. It is socially irresponsible, not to mention highly inflammatory, to target immigrants whether legal or not as a response to what has become uncertain times for the United States. "They" are, in fact, trying to learn English. "They" are not responsible for the downtrodden economy, lack of jobs, decline in the dollar, or the waste of tax dollars. Statistics consistently show that immigration has long term benefits for the economy, and elimination of translation services is not going to solve the immigration problem. It is ironic that as one of the new gateways for legal immigrants and refugees, Nashville is in danger of becoming a symbol for intolerance and closed doors. So, whatever you believe about immigration, please remember that all are entitled to the provisions of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the dehumanization of immigrants is the wrong stance to take in the face of such a complicated problem.

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