In discussing the issue of the intrusion of the Spanish language into America, Richard Baer's letter correctly predicts that Spanish is rapidly becoming America's second language. But here in California, where for decades the voting ballots have been bi-lingual English/Spanish, the "language of business and commerce" has become not bi-lingual, but multi-lingual, with skills in Asian languages becoming increasingly more important to the international business practitioner. It seems apparent that speaking Spanish will no doubt someday be a necessity for local living, social and political interaction, and so as not feel alien on one's birth land, but not necessarily for business, which is, and I predict will continue to be conducted large-scale around the world in English - unless Islam prevails over the infidels.
I agree that it is in the best interest of Latinos who live in the USA to speak English, but I do not understand exactly what Dr. Baer means, "Latinos are learning English at a fast pace." While that may be true in certain instances and in some places, it is not necessarily so where I live, just about smack in the middle of one of the largest illegal-alien neighborhoods in Orange County, California, the El Modena area of the City of Orange. And quite a nice place to live, I might add. Every morning I drive out of my driveway, past small, neatly kept houses that provide living space for to up to four or five Spanish speaking families, with five to ten cars parked in front on the street, crammed side-by-side in the driveway, or on the lawn. I drive six blocks to the main thoroughfare that leads to the freeway a mile and one-half away and before I reach the freeway, I see between 100 to 200 illegal alien men standing on the street corners or in strip-center parking lots, or near the corner donut shop, seeking work as day-laborers. I see many illegal alien women walking to the supermarket, with four kids in tow, each a head taller than the next, one in a baby buggy and one in their belly, walking with a friend who has in tow exactly the same entourage, a similar baby buggy and in the same condition of expectant motherhood. These people live in a world, right here in Southern California, where they do not need to speak English to lead a normal and fulfilling life, because the entire neighborhood speaks Spanish and the word "birth control" does not of necessity translate, because they do not have to pay one thin dime to deliver a baby at one of the finest of Orange County's hospitals, the same hospital that would cost my daughter, or her health care provider if she is lucky enough to be able to afford one, close to eight thousand dollars for the same service.
For the past eleven years, my wife has been the fundraising chairperson of a free medical clinic in the City of Orange, that in conjunction with a cooperating local hospital, provides full-service quality health care for the "poorest of the poor" - translated into plain English in this neighborhood, this means illegal aliens, the greater majority of whom do not speak English, and who will never learn English, they don't have to because they live in a tight little community of Spanish speakers where even the clinic staff and some volunteer doctors, speak Spanish, their foremen on the construction crew and their supervisors in the factories, likewise. For over twenty-five years, more than 6,000 patients a year have taken advantage of the free medical and dental services provided at this small clinic, while the clinic begs the government, United Way and the general public for grants and donations to keep their non-profit organization going - another "carrot" on America's stick.
There is no disputing that Hispanics will soon comprise the majority, at least in the American South West, and particularly in California, the gateway to the American Dream. But let us hope that those immigrating will enter the US legally and that they will respect and abide by and take advantage of all of the laws of this great country - the laws that protect, as well has the laws that prohibit. These immigrants will bring with them their language and their rich culture, as immigrants from around the world have for centuries. However, because of the cultural mix of this area, they and their prodigy are likely to remain either Spanish-only or bi-lingual, while non-Latinos will continue to remain uni-lingual and in the end, disadvantaged thereby in this largely Latino community.
I predict that when the majority in the American South West becomes Hispanic, over a period of time the tables will turn and non-Latinos and non-Spanish speakers will be relegated to second-class citizenship in a ratio directly proportional to the population mix, and language will be a decisive factor of alienation. This means that politicians will not only need to, as Dr. Baer claims, "heed the concerns of the Hispanic-American", they will become them, speaking Spanish to their constituents, or at very least adding ethnically linguistic tag-lines to political speeches, to the cultural and linguistic exclusion of English-only speakers regardless of their race or ethnicity.
I suggest that in California, and perhaps all along the Southern border, non-Latino Americans will soon need to learn Spanish "at a fast pace", or in the future they will find themselves semi-disenfranchised in their own country. And unlike other countries of the world, and notwithstanding Dr. Baer's assertion to the contrary, the US has no "official language", it simply has a language commonly used by the majority, as a custom and practice. I challenge anyone to provide evidence to the contrary by citing any U.S. law, statute or regulation, presidential proclamation or otherwise, designating English, or any other language, as the "official language of the good old U.S.of A.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
Share this page
Bookmark this page
The leading immigration law publisher - over 50000 pages of free information!
© Copyright 1995- American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM