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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: FILEMON LOPEZ - THE VOICE OF THE OAXACA PEOPLE

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Filemon The New York Times recently ran a profile piece on radio show host Filemon Lopez who broadcasts in native languages from a station in Fresno, California to poor Mixtec Indians from Mexico working in agriculture in central California. Lopez, a beneficiary of the 1986 legalization program, has been in the US for 30 years. He brings a little piece of home to immigrants performing backbreaking work to put food on our tables.

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  1. Joe's Avatar
    Greg and others,
    My best wishes to this guy. But don't jump on me for saying this. Isn't the whole point of the "melting pot" assimilation and that means speaking English? What benefit could there be by "balkanization" of our beloved country? I have absolutely nothing against this guy and I'm not a typical conservative. Still it bothers me that there is no effort to assimilate here. Thanks a lot.
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    It's a fair question, but kids assimilate and the second and third generation frequently can no longer speak their native language. For a rare language, this is really sad as language is often a key part of a people's culture. A perfect example of this is Yiddish, a language that is basically gone even though there was once a vibrant Yiddish culture in Europe and the US.

    I've yet to meet second and third generation kids who don't speak English. They may be bilingual and comfortable talking in more than one language, but that's an asset for this country as we seek to compete in the world.
  3. D's Avatar
    "I've yet to meet second and third generation kids who don't speak English."

    I agree with that.

    But more relevant question is whether there should be a test of English language proficiency for immigrants. I am not sure about that that because I believe one can offer to this country so much without being proficient in English.

    If Congress decides to have test of English language, they should mandate it for every immigrant not just for undocumented seeking legalization.

    The test should be of decent standard that should test reading, writing and speaking abilities of a prospective immigrant. It can be similar to TSE.

  4. Perry's Avatar
    How funny that Americans never needed foreigners to feed
    us in the past.
    We had the best food supply in the world.

    We don't need them today either.

    If you all went home we would manage not to starve.
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