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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Ohio's Latinos cherish culture

    Ohio's Latinos cherish culture
    Poll shows desire to assimilate -- to a point

    Saturday, August 20, 2005
    Robert L. Smith
    Plain Dealer Reporter

    Latinos in Ohio believe immigrants should learn English and adopt American traditions, but not at the expense of their native language and customs, according to a new survey.

    In the first poll of its kind, Ohio Latinos expressed a desire to find a middle ground between the old country and the new.

    "Folks feel that, yes, it's important for new Americans to learn English, and it's important for the public sector to help them to do that," said Ezra Escudero, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. "But they also expect to keep their heritage."

    Escudero's commission, which met at Cleveland State University on Friday, conducted the survey in response to an English-only law introduced in May by State Rep. Courtney Combs, a Cincinnati-area Republican.

    Combs said he fears Spanish-speaking immigrants are not adopting English and he designed the Ohio English Unity Act to ensure that Ohioans share a common language.

    In addition to declaring English the state's official language, the law would require almost all state and local agencies to conduct their business and publish records only in English. It could herald many changes in a state that offers the driver's license exam in 17 languages.

    Combs had shared the draft legislation with the commission, which then sought to gauge the opinion of Ohio's estimated 275,000 Latinos, who make up about 2 percent of the state.

    Escudero acknowledged the survey is neither scientific nor rigorous. Questionnaires were distributed through Latino agencies. Targeted e-mails and letters directed people to a Web site where the survey was posted.

    During three weeks in July, 724 people responded via mail and the Internet. Escudero said they provided the state with a perspective seldom articulated.

    "I believe it reflects the Latino opinion across Ohio," he said.

    Ninety-one percent of respondents agreed it is important for immigrants to learn English, and 70 percent said that immigrants are trying to learn English.

    But 83 percent rejected the idea that new Americans should "learn English and assimilate and leave behind their native traditions, customs and language."

    Instead, 89 percent agreed it is important for immigrants to "learn English and integrate" into America while keeping their heritage -- raising the question of just what integration means.

    "Celebrate holidays? Remember the traditions? I imagine you would have gotten similar responses from Irish and German households at the turn of last century," Escudero said.

    At its meeting Friday, the commission approved three resolutions, one opposing Combs' proposal as discriminatory against Latinos and one proposing that the act be revised to pay for more English as a Second Language classes. A third resolution encouraged the state to take a new tack and promote a multilingual citizenry.

    Combs said Friday that he will consider the suggestions when the General Assembly reconvenes next month, but he ruled out spending tax money on new English classes.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Combs said Friday that he will consider the suggestions when the General Assembly reconvenes next month, but he ruled out spending tax money on new English classes.
    Good for him! Enforce immigration laws!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mamie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Sweet Home Alabama
    "But they also expect to keep their heritage."
    everybody's entitled to a 'heritage' except the people of the south
    "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" George Santayana "Deo Vindice"

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