Editorial: The lift of language
Vail CO, Colorado
Those who would shut down our southern border often complain immigrants legal and illegal refuse to assimilate. One of the ways immigrants do this, they argue, is by not learning to speak English.
Then what qualm can they have with the New America School? The public charter school, scheduled to open in Gypsum under the auspices of the Eagle County School District in the fall, will teach immigrants English.
Immigration opponents could argue immigrants should buy CD-ROMS or learn-while-you-sleep tapes. They may also argue this isn’t their responsibility ” their taxes, in other words, shouldn’t be used to teach English to people who can just as well learn it on their own dime.
That ignores the glaring reality on both sides of the border. U.S. businesses ” even those who wish to obey immigration laws ” have tons of jobs. Just across the border, there are millions of people who ” just like many of our ancestors ” are ready to work for the far better life our country offers.
Also, a key reason our democracy works is that we don’t have to agree with everything our taxes fund, wether it’s a new weapons system or a Planned Parenthood office. Taxes, ideally, are spent by elected officials on programs and services that will improve our society.
And, public schools are required to educate kids, whether they know English or not.
Teaching immigrants our language will certainly improve our society. By adopting our language, they will begin to adopt our culture. More importantly, by understanding the language of the land, they ” as immigrants have always done ” will more nimbly add to and enhance our culture.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board