Not English? Bob
Stump Not Interested
by Rodney Jay C. Salinas
In March, Congressman Bob Stump, from Arizona, introduced
a piece of legislation that has serious implications for the
Asian Pacific American community. Introduced into the Congress
with little notice, the bill, called H.R. 969, seeks to accomplish
It would nullify Executive Order 13166, titled `Improving
Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency'
(August 16, 2000; 65 Fed. Reg. 50121).
This Executive Order was issued under President Bill Clinton
and was a heroic effort to provide desperately needed Federal
dollars to support programs for people who are not proficient
in English. The other important section would effectively
prevent any President from issuing a similar Executive Order
in the future.
Section Two of H.R. 969 prohibits the use of Federal funds
to execute or enforce similar dictates.
This bill has the potential to rob the Asian Pacific American
community of millions of dollars from programs and services
that help those who cannot easily communicate in English.
Why is Congressman Stump so opposed to using Federal money
for such programs anyway?
He, along with all the other English-only proponents, seems
to be deathly afraid of waking up one morning and finding
out that he can't understand a darn thing because it's not
in English. Well, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee,
Mr. Congressman. This nation is only getting more and more
The government has a responsibility to take care of and protect
the rights of all its people, even if their English is not
so perfect. If we ignore those with limited English proficiency,
we would be abandoning a large segment of the American population.
And that is not what America is all about.
And does Congressman Stump really believe that those with
limited English proficiency will be forced to learn English,
simply because they won't receive Federal assistance otherwise?
That's flat out wrong. Instead, the Congress should be passing
bills to provide more funds for outreach and for classes to
help these individuals get a better grasp of the English language.
This seems to be the only real solution if we are truly interested
in helping these individuals.
Rodney Jay C. Salinas is President of the Rainmaker Political
Group LLC, publishers of PoliticalCircus.com,
the premier online source for political news and information
for the Asian Pacific American community