Letter to the Editor

Immigrants should learn English

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

To the editor:I attended the joint religious forum on immigration and reform. The one thing missing from the the speakers was the immigrants' responsibility. How sad.

I think the slow progress to citizenship should be shortened, first by the government demanding that immigration personnel be more efficient or be terminated -- no excuses. Second, the immigrants should be legal according to our laws and regulations. Illegals should not be considered. Third, to be granted citizenship, immigrants should be fluent in English -- no exceptions.

Most who asked questions at the forum were difficult to understand because of their English. They have been here four to 16 years, and some still are waiting for citizenship. Surely they can learn faster. They are supposedly here to improve their lives, not to bring their country here. What do they tell immigration officials? Maybe their English is part of their problem in gaining citizenship.

The failure to speak fluent English is adequate evidence that their desire to be citizens is false. My observation is that anytime they are with their native friends, they speak their native tongue, not English. I also have a strong suspicion they speak their native tongue at home. This was confirmed by a study mentioned on TV. I suggest they only speak their native tongue at home on weekends and practice English the other five days. Being bilingual is better than I can do.

Let us not advocate rewarding people who violate our laws. This is a bad reward. It encourages this type of behavior afterward.

BUDDY PARRISH, Cape Girardeau