Can’t learn fast enough |

Can’t learn fast enough

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

The immigration debate has the melting pot boiling, and no complicated, chaotic issue would be complete without a heaping cup of irony.

The Denver Post reported earlier this month that a lack of available resources has immigrants, legal or not, waiting months to get into adult English classes. Colorado was one of a dozen states in a survey that found that 60 percent of free courses had waiting lists of as long as two months, according to the Post.

The English classes are of course free to their students. The lion’s share of the tab goes to the U.S. government and, to a smaller extent, the state. This fact puts the classes squarely in the category of social programs that many advocates of immigration reform are dead-set against providing.

Many of those same advocates are also frustrated by the language barrier and add weight to their arguments by claiming that illegal immigrants show no desire to assimilate into U.S. culture. But the length of the lines forming outside ESL classes would indicate otherwise.

No catch-all solution to U.S. immigration problems is going to fall out of the sky. The people waiting for a class to open up can’t put their lives on hold until they learn English, and the anti-illegal-immigration set can’t have it both ways. Either proper funding is provided to teach English to those who want to learn it, or you can expect that more and more of your neighbors won’t understand a single word you’re saying.

” Evan Gibbard for the Editorial Board

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