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February 17, 2012 01:26 AM UTC

Coffman Persists With Nativist Nonsense

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Colorado Independent’s Teddy Wilson reports:

Colorado Republican Congressmen Mike Coffman (CD-6) and Doug Lamborn (CD-5) have joined a hundred of their colleagues this year in sponsoring a bill to make English the official language of the United States.

English language bills are among those introduced practically every session of Congress without any expectation of making it to a vote by the full House or Senate. This year, however, the bill might get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Texas Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) told WOAI that he would “support efforts to make English the official language and may consider bringing up the issue in the House Judiciary Committee down the road.”

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King introduced HR 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2011, which would make English the official language of the United States. The legislation would require official functions of the United States be conducted in English. It would create English language requirements and workplace policies in the public sector, and any exceptions to this standard “should be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as asylum.”

This isn’t an out-of-character move for Rep. Mike Coffman, who succeeded arch anti-immigrant Tom Tancredo representing the old CD-6, and who sponsored a bill last fall to roll back requirements under federal law to distribute bilingual ballots to communities in need of them.

We say this isn’t an out-of-character move for Coffman, but we remain surprised that he remains bent on pushing these kinds of divisive bills now that his district has been remapped into a hotly competitive and ethnically very diverse place. You might give Coffman points for consistency, “holding true” to his values even at the risk of alienating his new constituents.

Or you might not think that risk deserves a compliment.


20 thoughts on “Coffman Persists With Nativist Nonsense

    1. How about the test is: a score of 30 or better on the ACT?

      And, let’s go back to male property holders are the only ones allowed to vote.

      Both actions would make my vote worth so much more. As it should be.

    2. on every ballot these day that are hard enough to plow through in one’s first language, I don’t see anything wrong with printing them in Spanish. Various other language communities could provide translations in less widely used languages for their members and distribute them via mail, e-mail, flyers, etc. as we can’t  provide for every language spoken by Colorado citizens.  

        1. but really you can’t expect official ballots to be printed in all of the dozens of languages spoken here.  It was much easier back in the day when all a voter like my grandfather had to do was pull the straight Dem lever.  He spoke excellent English ( and Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, some Polish,  some Lithuanian and even a little Romanian) but read it very slowly, having learned to read in Hebrew, Yiddish, which is mainly German but written with the Hebrew alphabet, and Russian and Ukrainian, written with the Cyrillic alphabet. He didn’t get here and start to learn English  and another alphabet until he was 21, after all.  

          Living in Chicago he could always read all  the news in two of the Yiddish language papers he took in addition to the regular Chicago papers, besides radio and TV which he understood perfectly well, so he always knew what was going on.  Had to as a union VP.

          How I wish I could communicate so well in so many languages instead of just in my GOP approved English only. Why we should be so proud of being so provincial is beyond me.

          1. get your ballot in that language

            Once upon atime I’m sure that would have been expensive and difficult, but there’s this thing called google now.

            Also – English is taking over anyway

  1. African Americans speak English, and this issue polls very high with them. I agree that Coffman should get kudos for consistency (since if he had changed his views, we’d be reading Colorado Pols’ take down for his flip flop), but I doubt the risk is as great as you’re making it out to be.

    English should be the official, and only, language in America. Anyone who comes here without that skill is permanently disadvantaged.

      1. The legislation would require official functions of the United States be conducted in English.

        All forms for public assistance will be in English. Fewer Spanish speakers will apply for assistance.

        Census forms will be in English. Spanish speakers will be under-counted. Election materials? Same thing.

        Tax forms will be in English. The working poor are more likely to not speak English. No tax refund for you!

        To answer your question, David, the problem this fixes is that poor  people with brown skin are currently taking advantage of their right to vote and avail themselves of assistance programs for which they qualify.

        1. It’s the same as with other waves of immigration. The first American born speak English and their kids are often just as English only as the rest of us. And of course, here in Colorado, parts of the state have been Spanish speaking since before Colorado was a state and before the US existed. Colorado isn’t Iowa.  This state’s history is bilingual. Think how well positioned our kids would be if they all learned Spanish as well as English in school for all kinds of international career ops.

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