Colorado, like all but eight U.S. states, requires proof of legal residence to obtain a driver's license. After a recent fatal crash near Milner, whether undocumented immigrants should be legally allowed to drive is a national question with local weight.

Photo by Brian Ray

Colorado, like all but eight U.S. states, requires proof of legal residence to obtain a driver's license. After a recent fatal crash near Milner, whether undocumented immigrants should be legally allowed to drive is a national question with local weight.

Crash brings national issue into focus

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What: Open Mic Night in benefit of Russ Blackhurst

When: 7 p.m. on Dec. 20

Where: Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill

Cost: $10 donation recommended

Contact: Call Joe Carberry at 819-2118 for more information

— On the morning of Nov. 26, Russ Blackhurst of Steamboat Springs - a 30-year-old recent dental school graduate practicing in Craig - suffered serious injuries in a car crash near Milner.

The crash occurred when Teodora Diaz Simon, of Craig, spun out while exiting a turn on a snowy U.S. Highway 40 and skidded into Blackhurst in the oncoming lane. Diaz was killed in the accident. Police said Diaz's speed and lack of adequate winter tires played a role in the crash.

Diaz was driving without a driver's license or insurance, according to an accident report from the Colorado State Patrol. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there is no record of Diaz's lawful residence in the United States. The car she was driving belongs to a Gunnison woman. Diaz's body is being repatriated to her hometown in the Mexican state of Nayarit, officials with the Mexican consulate in Denver said.

Those close to Blackhurst say he is unconcerned with Diaz's legal status and only mourns her loss. But the accident brings home a debate that is raging at the national level: whether immigrants, regardless of their legal status, should be allowed to obtain a driver's license.

"Russ Blackhurst is a super-humble human being and I know he doesn't want to be a political fire starter," said Joe Carberry, Blackhurst's brother-in-law. "He was absolutely devastated by the death of that woman. I mean devastated. We all were."

Citing their distress since the accident, Blackhurst and his wife declined to comment for this story. Blackhurst's mother-in-law, Charmel Kubik of Boise, Idaho, said she is upset at what the family has been put through, and angry about the circumstances that led to it.

"Russ was injured pretty bad, and he's got a long way to go," Kubik said. "I feel really sorry for (Diaz), I really do. But in the same sense, I'm very angry at what she's put our family through."

Local, national

Those in favor of granting driver's licenses regardless of legal status cite public safety concerns. They say America's 12 million undocumented immigrants will drive with or without a license, so it's better to have them tested and insured. Unlicensed drivers are almost five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers with a valid license, according to a report prepared for the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety.

Opponents say granting licenses to illegal immigrants will encourage more to enter the country. They also say the idea raises security concerns, such as the fact that driver's licenses can be used to board commercial flights. Or more simply, as Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said in a recent presidential debate, "A license is a privilege."

In the accelerating race to the White House, Democratic contenders are generally united on the need for reformed immigration laws, but divided on the driver's license issue. Republican candidates, in general, have focused on stepping up enforcement rather than reform.

Colorado, like all but eight U.S. states, requires proof of legal residence to obtain a driver's license. State officials don't expect that to change anytime soon.

State Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, said there is no movement in the state Legislature to change current driver's license policy.

"Absolutely not," White said. "I don't see it happening."

Former Steamboat Springs City Councilman Ken Brenner - who will challenge White in the election next year to replace state Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs - said proponents for allowing licenses regardless of legal status have "a valid point," but agreed that the chances of change in Colorado are slim.

"There's no way you're going to see that change," said Brenner, a Democrat.

As Brenner and White suggest, granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants poses a great political hurdle. This was evidenced recently in the state of New York, where Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced licenses would be issued without regard to immigration status.

But under intense political pressure - highlighted by presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's, D-N.Y., seeming support of the plan, followed by her stated opposition to it - Spitzer withdrew his plan.

Julien Ross, director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said the situation in New York underscores how an unreasonable political debate is hindering wise public policy.

"The governor in New York tried to show leadership - tried to do the right thing," Ross said. "It's really tragic that the wave of opposition to that led him to remove that executive order."

Ross said the issue is one of both public safety and human rights. It is a human rights issue, he said, because people in the U.S. need to be able to drive - to work, the grocery store, day care, etc. - to maintain an acceptable quality of life. In the absence of the comprehensive immigration reform Democrats are calling for, Ross said the driver's license issue should be separated from the larger immigration issue.

"We believe that any driver of age and ability should be allowed to obtain a driver's license in Colorado or any state in the U.S.," Ross said. "Immigration status should not be a factor in getting a driver's license until we reform our immigration laws. It's absurd to deny capable and responsible drivers of a driver's license when there's no way for them to become legal residents."

The local view

Between Jan. 1, 2005, and Nov. 30, 2007, 223 drivers were cited for driving without a valid driver's license in Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Joel Rae said.

Rae described the data regarding immigration status as "sporadic," and said drivers often produce a foreign driver's license that Steamboat police have no way of verifying. In those cases, the driver is not cited for failing to produce a valid license.

Routt County Sheriff's Office Investigator Ken Klinger said illegal drivers are involved "in excess of 20 percent" of the traffic incidents in the county.

"You deal with everything from no insurance to fake driver's licenses," Klinger said. "There's an awful lot of them running around."

Figuring out if a person is an illegal immigrant is on the roads is not as simple as pulling them over and basing judgments off looks, said Tim Jantz, Moffat County sheriff.

"We can't profile," he said. "I can't ask them if they're illegal ... If I have probable cause to make the stop, I can ask investigatory questions."

From a public safety standpoint, Rae said he is in favor of granting driver's licenses in spite of legal resident status.

"It's a hot topic in America," Rae said. "Knowing who these people are, regardless of their legal status, is very important. It's something we do need to get a hold of."

Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall, like Rae, noted the potential benefits and the political sensitivity.

"Just because they don't have a license, doesn't mean they aren't going to drive," Wall said. "The issue, of course, becomes do we want to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses? That's a political question that I don't want to get into. Would it be better? Yes. Is that the correct political decision to make? I don't know, and I don't want to comment on that."

Klinger is against the idea. When other people have gone through the trouble to reside in the U.S. legally and obtain driver's licenses as legal residents, Klinger said, it would be unfair to grant licenses to illegal immigrants.

"Illegal, to me personally, means illegal," Klinger said. "They shouldn't be granted the privilege."

While the national and local debate carries on about how laws may change in the future, Charmel Kubik just wishes the present ones had been followed Nov. 26, believing her son-in-law might have escaped a traumatic experience.

"I am sure that (Diaz) did not purposely plan to have a wreck that would take her life and seriously injure Russ," Kubik said. "However, I do feel that if she did not have a license and insurance, she should not have been on the road. This also goes for any other person that is out there driving, no matter what their nationality is, and whether they are a legal citizen or an illegal citizen. I hope that no one else will ever have to go through what Russ and his family have had to go through."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Scott Wedel 6 years, 8 months ago

I do not understand this debate over driver's licenses and illegal residents.

1) If you cannot get one from the country of which you are not a legal resident then get one from your home country.

2) This country is really screwed up if stopping illegal residents from getting a driver's license is intended to be a meaningful part of forcing illegal residents to go home.

3) As noted in the statistics in the article, illegal drivers is a big problem. And the bulk of the problem is legal citizens driving without insurance or with a suspended or revoked license. The implications of #1 is that many illegal residents that drive without a license are likely to not be legal drivers for the same reasons that so many citizens are not legal drivers.

What is really messed up is this ongoing problem of legal immigration set far lower that what the economy and businesses need. And so there is illegal immigration that is taken about as seriously as alcohol during Prohibition. And then Congress passes some amnesty bill when there are so many illegal residents that it takes up to 10 years to process them all so the essential issue of millions living here hoping to become citizens never changes.

What is also really messed up that with baby boomers approaching retirement and a huge Federal budget deficit, that we need millions of immigrants working and paying taxes. As a country we failed to heed the demographic bulge and prepare accordingly. Japan, for instance, avoided the need for large scale immigration by building up it's government retirement accounts to stay solvent when their baby boom generation retires.

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dundalk 6 years, 8 months ago

http://www.house.gov/garymiller/IllegalsCost2005.html

Do those of you who are warm and fuzzy still want to spread your wallet to cover these costs?

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CoJustice 6 years, 8 months ago

What you need to worry about is legislation permitting Mexican trucks operating in the U.S. to deliver cargo. Local law enforcement may need to investigate opportunities in some of the grants to establish inspection and enforcement system. Increased safety risks from inferior long-haul trucks from Mexico operating on U.S. roadways.

This issue has been a cause for concern from a lot of people including Teamsters, and other safety organizations that Mexican truckers may pose a danger on U.S. highways. They feel Mexican truckers are not subject to the same driving standards, drug and alcohol testing and law enforcement as U.S. drivers. Some Teamsters feel the trucking industries will move operations to Mexico for lower waged drivers, without experience.

Don't worry about illegals receiving State drivers licenses, when legislation will allow them in with Mexican ones.

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justathought 6 years, 8 months ago

Would giving ILLEGALS a license mean that any American citizen that lost their license doing something ILLEGAL will get them back? Why should America acknowledge illegals with anything other than deportation? What do you think giving privileges to illegals is going to accomplish other than an influx of more illegals? These aliens do not respect us or our laws, they sneak in here illegally, and we're supposed to believe they are going to respect our other laws? Those of you that say illegals are just looking for a better life, are you saying it is okay for us to break the law to get what we want, or is there a double standard? Take a walk on the downtown streets of any major US city, look at the homeless, the hungry and the mentally ill, I'm sure they would all like a better life too. Our government needs to start enforcing our laws and quit giving our country away.

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nikobesti 6 years, 8 months ago

justathought, are you kidding? Giving illegals drivers licenses is going to accomplish an influx of more illegals? Yeah, I'm sure poor Mexicans are waiting with baited breath for that! "Well, you know, I wasn't going to make that trek to America, but now that they're issuing drivers licenses, I'm there!" Um, right dude. Some of you anti-illegal immigrant folks are too blinded by hate to see any sensible solutions. Your broken record rants about deportation solve NOTHING. Can we think about some obtainable things we can do to improve the situation?

dudalk, you want to talk about costs? How about the costs Blackhurst is going to have to cover because Diaz didn't have a drivers license? If Diaz had a drivers license and insurance, that wouldn't be a problem. Not to mention the fact that getting more people to educate themselves on driving and take the drivers test might actually save some lives. But again, you would rather spew fear mongering rhetoric than talk about solutions.

You all need to quit whining about life not being fair. I figured that out in 4th grade. Are you yet to learn that? I'm not saying we need to enforce common sense immigration laws, but I'm also not saying we should be blind to solutions that might entail giving illegals "privileges." I agree with Wedel that denying illegals drivers licenses is not helping a thing. The benefits outweigh any perceived costs.

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dundalk 6 years, 8 months ago

niko: why don't we go on letting illegals do whatever they want, and all of us who are here legally and abiding by the laws of the land can bend over and grab a bar of soap.

quit the liberal crying about fear mongering rhetoric. its so passe and out of date.

let's approach the problem with solutuions. elect a president, senators, congressmen, etc who dig into the heart of problem. stop illegal immigration. when an offender commits a crime, deport them IMMEADIATELY back from whence they came. period. no teeter-toting back and forth.

I feel sadness that Ms. Diaz lost her life, as I do whenever someone's life is cut short. The bottom line is that she did not have a driver's license, no insurance and improper wheels.

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nikobesti 6 years, 8 months ago

So issuing illegals a freaking drivers license so they can get insured is "giving illegals whatever they want?" Give me a break! I talk about rhetoric because it's true. You've just proved my point.

I'm not advocating giving illegals whatever they want. I am advocating looking OBJECTIVELY at these issues and serching for solutions that best benefit the majority of Americans.

I largely agree with your proposed solution and like the part about digging to the heart of the problem.

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flotilla 6 years, 8 months ago

Question - not sarcastic at all- if we were to give illegal dls aren't we admitting that we know they are here illegally, working, not paying taxes, etc, etc for longer than a "visiting period"? What is the difference between dls then, and citizenship- taxes and voting rights, correct? Wouldn't rates seem to be higher for illegals then, insurance wise, if they can't read signs because they (MOST, or SOME) don't speak english? If so, would it be possible for them to afford? Why would they want to be documented by the government, they are getting what they want now- with NO reprocussions (except personal injury). seriously, just asking to try and see how this would work.

Another solution- car insurance tacked on to price of gas. pay at the pump. Tried to go through in the 70s and was not voted it... but would solve these problems. that way everyone is insured, like it or not. i doubt the insurance companies would go for it but not really their choice. I will try and find some more detailed information on this.

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momofthree 6 years, 8 months ago

dundalk and others: what I don't understand when you and others talk about illegals is the notion that somehow this country "belongs" to you. the country doesn't really belong to anyone--it's a collection of people who happened to be lucky enough to have been born into it, and who choose to maintain their citizenship, and in the process vote and pay taxes. but it's a complete accident of birth that you are here--unless you yourself are a first-generation immigrant? As the world gets smaller, it strikes me as increasingly bizare that we insist on "keeping people out" of our country. it seems to me we should allow anyone who wants to come and work here to do so, pay taxes, and work their way toward the privelage of citizenship (pretty much the right to vote, at this point). one does not need to be a citizen to pay taxes--legal aliens do so. and having a country full of documented workers from other countries around the world would make us more competitive in the long run, as we would be able to keep relatively cheap labor at home (instead of outsourcing to India and the like), while also developing loyalty in those very workers who want to become citizens so badly because they really do value America. Documenting them makes us all safer, because we can red-flag criminals and other dangerous applicants, and feel fairly confident that our border efforts are really going toward catching people who do intend us harm once they cross the border (either on a small scale, or a large one). Of course, legal aliens are today required to obey all our laws--those rules wouldn't change at all.

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

Momofthree and niko-Do you really think that letting an illegal alien get a license is really going to put a rush on the DMV? Get real! They are here illegally. What makes you think that all of a sudden they are going to start obeying our laws? Every day they are living here undocumented, they are breaking the law. If they are stopped by law enforcement officers, they would be arrested. That is the job of law enforcement-to enforce the law. And I am real sure they all will run right over and get insurance too. Whatever makes you think that if this law is ever passed, they will all of a sudden turn into law abiding members of this community? If they were to do that-they would go back home and get a visa to come here.

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dundalk 6 years, 8 months ago

No one has said this country belongs to us. It is my opinion that the frustration stems from illegals breaking the laws of this land, and in the process causing harm either physically or financially to those law abiding, legal citizens. As you said, unless you are born in this country, we all came from somewhere else. My father came here in the 1940s, through Ellis Island, and immeadiately gained citizenship and a job. He then enrolled in college, the Army and found housing, even though he spoke little English when he hit the shores of lady Liberty. (he spoke irish/gaelic)

There is no reason why any immigrant coming to this country can't do the same. No reason! I don't hold a lot of tolerance for those who try to skirt by the rules and then go on to break the laws.

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dundalk 6 years, 8 months ago

"Just because they don't have a license, doesn't mean they aren't going to drive," Wall said. "The issue, of course, becomes do we want to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses? That's a political question that I don't want to get into. Would it be better? Yes. Is that the correct political decision to make? I don't know, and I don't want to comment on that."

GEE, ONCE AGAIN WALL IS SO LINGUISTIC

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momofthree 6 years, 8 months ago

dundalk: your parents came here legally, because they were allowed to--presumably, they belonged to the favored ethnic/cultural group of the time. they were then allowed to gain citizenship and a job. the reason so many people are coming in illegally today is because they want to work in America but cannot get the papers to do so legally, because we do not have an open immigration policy (we never have, but the numbers of aliens permitted rises and falls in relation to applicants, depending on a variety of circumstances over the years). I don't disagree that they are breaking the law--they clearly are. What I'm saying is, if we have an open immigration policy without caps, allowing anyone who wants to to live and work here as documented legal aliens (not citizens, which is a process that should continue to take time and effort), then the number of illegal immigrants will basically decrease to people who really really don't want anyway. Grannyrett, yes, I think most illegal aliens are honest people who would like to be here legally if they could. I don't think offering them a DL will make much difference, because most will still be too afraid of getting deported to apply for one.

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momofthree 6 years, 8 months ago

snowysteamboat: why not let the market determine how many immigrants we have? once the jobs are no longer plentiful, and the living isn't better than back home, presumably people won't come in throngs anymore, right? why is it OK for the government to regulate THIS but not so many other things?

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 8 months ago

I choose not to wait until living here isn't any better than back home.

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dundalk 6 years, 8 months ago

momofthree:

favored ethnic group...ya gotta be kiddng me. the irish were hated for quite a long time. MIC's were not a favored group. they might be now though.

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nikobesti 6 years, 8 months ago

grannyrett: I do realize many illegal immigrants will be too scared to go to the DMV to get a dl. What about removing that fear and making it safe for them to do this instead of calling for their heads? These are the kind of constructive conversations we should be having. This is an issue we need to address instead of keeping these folks completely out of our systems. Integrating them to some extent buys us more tax money, better law enforcement, etc. I don't have a silver-bullet answer for how this is done, and there is no perfect solution. I just get tired of the same old yelling about "go back home" when that does ZERO to help the problem. You complain about how they don't pay taxes (even though they do pay some taxes) and don't have drivers licenses, but then when it's time to do something about that, all you do is yell about deportation. I agree we need to deport illegal immigrants who break the law. I agree we need to better protect our borders. But what's wrong with acknowledging the fact that many are here to stay, so let's find ways to live with them IN our systems?

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

niko-Do you know that if you legalize the ones that are here, they will qualify for more government handouts than they are getting right now? Why should we give special treatment to those who are already breaking our laws? For the safety of this country, we need to close the the borders so those who do come here are screened, their backgrounds are checked and they come here legally. That's all we want. Why is that so hard to understand.?

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Scott Wedel 6 years, 8 months ago

To call illegal residents "Illegals" and then apparently conclude because they are called "illegals" that they ignore all of our laws is ridiculous.

Protecting the borders is a slogan to please the racists that hate Mexicans far more than illegals from the rest of the world. There are Russians, Australians, New Zealanders, Britians, Canadians and so on living here illegally in Steamboat long after their tourist visas have expired. How much of that Canadian border is fenced?

We have a government that can tap the nation's phone and internet systems, and yet cannot provide a quick check on whether a person social security number or work visa is valid or being simultaneously used? We have corporations that want a supply of cheap labor and the US Federal Government is doing just that.

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momofthree 6 years, 8 months ago

dundalk: by "favored" I mean the countries given the lion's share of legal residency permits--the countries selected and the amount of people allowed to enter from those countries is constantly changing. back in your parents' day, they were allowed in because the Irish had a certain number of permits, if you will, and so they made it into the country legally.

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bubba 6 years, 8 months ago

I believe it was dundalk who said that we need to elect politicians who try to address the heart of the problem. It was grannyrett who said we need to secure the borders. Unfortunately, all of the politicians who try to address this problem come up with idiotic stop-gap solutions like walls across the border or heavily armed volunteer guards at the border, closed borders, etc.

The heart of the problem is that people can get a much better job here than they can at home. Unless we stop this, people will keep crossing the borders illegally, and there is no other way about it. If there is a big enough incentive, they will come; we built a wall in san diego. Did it fix anything? No, just pushed more people into the desert, where they die of thirst and starvation and fall prey to criminals who are making profits off of their desire for a better life.

As long as US businesses will hire illegal immigrants, they will keep coming here- they are risking their lives and that of their families, living in what many of us would consider unacceptable conditions to work jobs that pay less than most americans would accept. Why? Because it's better than the alternative. Businesses here will hire illegal immigrants because they know that the punishment is not as costly as paying US wages for the amount of time until they get caught. If this doesn't change, meaning if the government does not crack down on hiring of undocumented workers, then there will be no change. As long as there is the incentive of a better job than they can get at home, no wall or vigilante border patrol is going to prevent them from coming, they will find a way. When we put up more walls to prevent people from coming in, there will be more loss of life at the border, more criminals stealing from people trying to better their life, and a more desperate crop of immigrants, but the tide will not stop.

Of course, the other way to remove the incentive is to provide economic assistance to Mexico, that would be harder in the short term, and probably more effective in the long run, but I doubt anyone will win any elections on the 'help mexico' platform...

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wyowind 6 years, 8 months ago

If it is illgeal to be here in this country, then is it okay to drive drunk and get away with it - whether or not you are the sheriff?

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CoJustice 6 years, 8 months ago

What I have seen happen over the past 35 years, is middle management jobs are being lost to people that are bilingual. Many government jobs require bilingual speaking representatives, and products descriptions market Spanish speaking consumers. Why, because of the demand to service the Spanish speaking population. Next you will see a demand for Spanish speaking teachers, community leaders, etc. Why, because the Spanish speaking population is the fastest growing population. Second generation children are the middle management running the labor force.

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

Scott-They are called illegals because they are here illegally. Period. Yes, we need to close our borders. If it takes a fence to do it, so be it. If it takes volunteers helping the border patrol, so be it. There are also minutemen along the northern border. It is the other illegals that scare me more than the ones from Mexico. It aggravates me that the ones from Mexico are so numerous. So flagrant about being here illegally. They do not try to fit in. If they want to become a part of this country, then reading, writing, and speaking English is part of the pathway to citizenship. Not only for those from Mexico, but those from anywhere. The flagrant disregard for our laws make me mad. I know of tourists from other countries who come here, rent cars, and see our country. They have foreign drivers licenses, but they have insurance-and a license-mandatory when you rent a car. I know Canadians who come down here for the winter. They drive on Canadian drivers licenses, and have insurance. Ms. Simon had no license or insurance. That is breaking several laws.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 8 months ago

I would like to encourage those who are interested to look up the Pilot series "Crossing the Line" that was published two or three summers back. This double page spread was published over a six week period and also on the internet for over a year. It made a hero out of an illegal Steamboat worker who returned to Mexico with over $30,000 of tax free money. It also left enough information for others to follow in his footsteps. I have listened to the whinning and crying of the tourism people here for over 30 years and all the cheap labor in the world would never satisfy them. This is the root of our local illegals problem.

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addlip2U 6 years, 8 months ago

What about those immigrants that wait for years, file and pay for multiple application, go through multiple interview process, than are rigorously tested to assure they speak, understand, read and write this country official language: English? In the 70's those immigrates were required to have a higher level of education because in the 70's USA wanted to bring into this country a "brain dump". They also had to be healthy and vaccinated to assure they would not bring undesirable disease with them. So mostly professionals such as doctors, nurses, architects, engineers were, after a lengthy process, allowed to arrive. They worked hard to prove themselves; after five years applied and paid fees to become US citizen. And than IF admitted, took a citizenship test. It took months to learn this country history, politics, laws. A knowledge gained that most of native Americans do not know. It is a privilege to earn USA citizenship.

Citizenship or legal status can not be "just given" to those who cross the border; to those who do not even respect the country they live by refusing to learn its language, respect its law and don't contribute to its welfare.

What an audacity of such non legal to demand education for their children, health care and welfare services. The " illegal" is working here for lower wages, allowing themselves being exploited (undermining citizens of this country to earn living wage). Not only that, but by sending their wages to their native country, they are robbing us by not reinvesting into our economy.

This country is a melting pot of all nations, cultures and languages. We are not to be over run by one single nationality or demand of us to learn their language.

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

The American economy brings illegal aliens into this country. It took hard work, labor laws, and sacrifice by the workers to make our country what it is. If things are so bad in other countries, why don't they band together and fix it? We didn't get where we are by going to another country and sending money back to family at home. Unions were organized and child labor laws were enacted. Legislation was passed. It is not our fault that Mexico can not get it together. If those that cross the border illegally would put the effort into their own country, it would improve the way of life for them. Conditions are horrible there. Go to any border town, and it will open your eyes. It has to be worse the further you go into Mexico. Children, who should be in school, selling trinkets out of little boxes. Instead of crossing into this country, organize and make your country better. That is what our forefathers did. Many of our ancestors went on strike, were shot at, and were threatened, but stood strong to make a better life for their families. If we band together, in this country, we can move mountains. If those who are here illegally would work together, they could improve their homeland.

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twostroketerror 6 years, 8 months ago

Selfish POV from me. I need dishwashers. They get paid the same regardless of race. Now, do I hire the ropey headed kid whos' last employer said he was 'ok' except for not showing up on powder days, or arriving on time? Or the dark skinned kid who was recommended by his buddy who shows up every day, early, stays late, and sends in other family members if he's sick? I'll take the 'illegal' trying to make a better life for him and his over the brat who's slacking in my kitchen for another bag of weed any day. As a bonus for baby boomers everywhere, has a soc sec card that I KNOW darn well is fake, but the #'s go through and he's paying taxes that he can never benefit from. The SSA is benefiting from these 'illegals' in a huge $$$ way. Why is this never discussed? Personally, for all 'illegals', if you work, pay taxes, and obey the law, you're more American than most folks. You break the law, it's back to Jalisco or a 4yr stint in Iraq. If you live, full Citizen status and the tax burden that comes with it.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 8 months ago

My beloved father fought 5.5 years in the Pacific theater, he was left for dead twice, once with his throat slit, the other in a tent hospital in Manilla with malaria, he brought himself back to life to return home and be the most generous humanitarian I have ever been blessed to know. He died a premature death from these injuries recieved, fighting for our freedom. He never once discussed his heroism, I found this out from aunts who saved newspaper articles published locally during the war about service personel. The only thing he would ask of any American is live by our laws...............

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justathought 6 years, 8 months ago

You know this country is in trouble when our presidential candidates feel it's necessary to do their political debate in spanish.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 8 months ago

sbvor-

Its not the red that scares me, its the overall numbers.

I agree that the presentation has some holes and some of the assertions are off base.

Regardless, I think its a valuable starting point in the discussion of immigration.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 8 months ago

International drivers license

When you get an au pair from a foreign country they are required to have an international license. Why can't "illegals "get one in their own country?

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Providing an illegal alien the ability to drive legally (kind of an oxymoron IMHO) by providing them with a drivers' license and thus identification would NOT have prevented the tragic accident that seemed to spawn all of the posts nor would it have saved Ms. Diaz's life.

I do not think that having improper tires or driving too fast was a result of a lack of a driver's license but rather a result of an economic condition and poor personal choice. A choice that unfortunately cost Ms. Diaz her life and Mr. Blackhurst more than any of us reading or espousing our opinions.

If we want to "blame" any breakdown in the system let's blame our State who (in their infinite wisdom) removed the annual safety inspections of vehicles in the 1970's and replaced it with the "Smog sticker" for the front range; then Ms. Diaz may have been forced to have adequate tires.

While we are at it, let's blame CDOT who increasingly spends more of their budget for retirement benefits (don't get me wrong, I believe that they deserve every dime. I would not want to get up at "o dark 30" to plow the highways to ensure the majority of us can travel safely) and less on improving the infrastructure of our mountain roads. If the roads were wider, perhaps Ms. Diaz would have had room to correct and maneuver within her own side of the road.

Finally, let's blame members of CSP who undoubtedly drive the same stretch of road every day and have never pulled Ms. Diaz over (I would be surprised if this were her first time driving too fast for conditions) for even the most minor traffic infraction.

Just as all of these blames are ludicrous so has the blame game of previous posts.

If the ability to obtain a driver's license were offered up to illegal aliens (regardless of nationality) I doubt it would result in a significant propensity of illegal aliens driving legally.

Yeah, right. I am illegally in the US so I am going to get a GOVERMENT issued identification card so that I can be more closely tracked and monitored and (when it is politically convenient to do so) deported.

The immigration issues in the US have always been with us (even to the days of pilgrims; who were in their own right illegal emigrants), the potato famine and the Irish in the mid 1800's, the Chinese in the late 1800's (which resulted in the complete ban on immigration for a period of 60 years under the Burlingame Treaty)... it goes on and on and always will as long as their is opportunity in the US and persecution or economic hardship throughout the rest of the world.

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Part 2... character limits

Quite frankly, our economy and our government infrastructure needs illegal immigrants who pay into social security (albeit through means that are not legal and are somewhat nefarious) to be able to fund benefit payments that our government has robbed from the gen x'ers... but that is another issue.

Placing myself in the shoes of many of the illegal aliens of this country right now I do see it as a no brainer.... come to the US where I will be ridiculed, treated as a moron because of a language barrier and my means of entry in an effort to support multiple generations of my family in another land (who by the way is making goods and trinkets for all of the US citizens to buy at Wal-Mart).

Or, I can stay in the safety of my home country where everyone is impoverished, shares my culture, shares my language and shares my overall sense of despair to work as a college professor.

I don't see any amount of legislative reform solving this problem.

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RoxyDad 6 years, 8 months ago

STEAMBOAT wannabee

Don't put any faith in a international drivers license. They don't mean anything. I went to get one for fun becasue I travel extensively.

I got it at the AAA office for a few bucks. It was a total joke.

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brownskull 6 years, 8 months ago

What part of illegal don't they understand. NO drivers licenses, NO Healthcare, NO public assistance, NO drain on the economy. This is like giving the guy who just robbed your house the key to the front door and a free meal. Illegal means ILLEGAL! They should be punished not rewarded.

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

twostroke-Who's social security number are they using? It is a retired persons, who when it comes times to fill out tax forms will have to pay back $1 for every $2 over $12,960? Is it a disabled person who will lose his disability check because he has a reported income on his social security number? Is it John Doe, who didn't hold out enough taxes on his wages, cause there is extra there so it bumped him up into a higher tax bracket? So now, in addition to crossing the border illegally, driving without a license, no insurance, we can add identity theft. Just Great!

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

Oh my, didn't we settle this in the original forum on the accident? These warm and fuzzy compassion freaks(Take My Country, Please) are at it again. So much foolish and delusional ignorance...

1)Over 300,000 women annually arrive pregnant and drop them on U.S. soil. You pay food, housing, medical and schooling for them to age 18 PLUS their mother. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, average annual cost per child K-12 is $7,161.00 and exceeds $109 billion annually per cycle of anchor babies. That's your money given out to 300,000 moms and their kids annually and all they did was enter the country illegally, get pregnant and give birth on U.S. soil.

If you haven't had a heart attack by now, you'll need Tums after this figure. The average head of household illegal alien costs you $2,700.00 in welfare money over and above any taxes he or she pays in their meager paying jobs. With 15 to 20 million illegal aliens in the USA, that figures exceeds $20 billion of your tax dollars. (Source: Center for Immigration Studies, August 2004)

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 8 months ago

Gladys, where are you, you had a lot to contribute and communicated much good thinking, don't give up, say hello here. freshair, you are making to much sense sharing the facts, another good thinker............

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

freshair; I think you may mistake compassion for logic. I am perhaps the farthest thing from a compassion freak that you would or could ever encounter (I buy and tear apart companies for a living selling off pieces to the highest bidder, no compassion in that)! I just see the fallacy in the arguments that have been posted on this forum.

I would be all for another Burlingame treaty type legislation... but also recognize that there are significant economic impacts of doing so that our polical leaders can not and will not stomach. It would mean they are not politically correct and are willing to say "NO" to something... anything.

Reality is that (whether or not we would all like to admit it) we (as a nation) would rather pay the $2,700 a year to get cheap restaurant service, cheaper hotel stays, cheap turkey and vegetables at Thanksgiving and Christmas (one of my clients is one of the largest turkey producers in the world and it is a bit annoyning that we have to communicate everything in English and Spanish) and cheap labor to work on/build our homes than to pony up and pay the difference for employers to hire only documented workers to perform these services.

I don't like it any more than you do, but it is a reality (Big R) that as long as the hospitality, home builders and food services industries (some of which help us pay our own bills) continue to spend billions with a BIG B on lobbyists nothing real is likely to change with the exception of some window dressing like driver's licenses for illegals or a promise to add additional patrols along the longest unprotected border in the world.

These window dressings then make the average American sleep better at night because their elected officials "care" about the problem.

On your stats, I too could quote them building arguments completely on the other side but won't waste my time... have you ever read the book "How To Lie With Statistics"? It is out of print now but was a primer for part of my MBA program and provides great instruction on how to pull a few compelling arguments for the story of the day to make your point.

So unless you are willing to pay an extra nickel per gallon of milk and head of lettuce or are willing to add a few bucks to your Christmas dinner not to mention the other industries impacted by this group then there is no short-term solution.

I guess from my very selfish perspective (being one who stays in hotels weekly, just had a new home built and who buys my food in the grocery store) I see the $2,700 a year well worth it to save more than that based on the services I use.

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

By the way, my own brother had his own SSN compromised by an illegal who was using it. He had the IRS after him for back taxes as a result (it eventually got cleared up at an expense to him). They had him working several jobs in other states simultaneously so I am VERY familiar with all of the problems caused by the illegal immigrant issues... but it always comes back to the economic cost and not a cost of convenience.

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

That employers benefit from illegal immigration is obvious. Would I be willing to pay a nickel more per head of lettuce if illegal workers were not allowed such easy access into the workforce? You're damn right I would. You and the rest of the pro-illegal immigration lobby,and I include the present administration, whether thru self-interest and greed or the result of a chronic case of delusional compassion are laying a foundation for future turmoil in this country. http://www.cairco.org/econ/econ.html lays it all out in terms easily understood by the layman.

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Freshair, You are classifying me into a category that I ABSOLUTELY do not belong. I am not compassionate nor am I pro-immigration! Nor am I delusional. I would prefer we seal up our borders and keep everyone out, but that is not practical.

What I am is a realist. The economic consequences today are too great for any politician to push something like this through. It would be political suicide to suggest it. Unfortunately 100 years of open borders have created the problem and it WILL take grass roots efforts to penalize businesses who hire illegal immigrants.

The impact of a decison has macroeconomic consequences that I do not think have been, nor could they be, clearly and cleanly calculated. The whole pebble in a lake argument comes into play here.

Like it or not America is based on free enterprise... blame big business and greed if you like but it is also a fact that you benefit far more than you realize in your tiny little world of Routt County.

Think of our recent oil price spikes, it has taken about 2 years for us all to feel the impact of the rise from $50 a barrel to a price today of $94.39. I argue the same is true for the issue of illegal immigration. It would take us years to feel the impact.

By the way, when is the last time you have seen a government program give back money? If there were not 300,000 women annually "dropping" their babies (note that your recitation does not specify illegal immigrants) in our laps where do you think the funds appropriation will go? Back into our pockets? Yeah right? Into the pockets of other welfare recipeints?

It is a balloon man! Squeeze it here and it will bulge somewhere else.

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AmebaTost 6 years, 8 months ago

Try and find a rich steamboat kid to work at mcdonald's. yeah right, we're so freaking lazy we need these people. I'm not for illegals but we brought this mess on ourselves. Klinger for sheriff!!!!!!!!!!!!

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oofcboy 6 years, 8 months ago

you know I try to get mad at these guys, but I have never meet more friendly people ,who will share their food with you even if they have to do without.But they still need to spend the 500 dollars for a work visa then go back and help fix their own country

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

shortbear...I believe I made it very clear that the figure of 300,000 specifically refers to births to illegals.

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

However, even the 300,000 figure could be low. The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates there are between 287,000 and 363,000 children born to illegal aliens each year. These numbers are based on the crude birth rate of the total foreign-born population (33 births per 1,000) and official estimates of the size of the illegal alien population--between 8.7 and 11 million.

However, the Bear Stearns investment firm and others have concluded that the actual number of illegal aliens in the United States could be as high as 20 million. When using the higher estimate of 20 million illegal immigrants and FAIR's 33 births per 1,000, this would roughly double FAIR's estimate to approximately 574,000 to 726,000 anchor babies born in the U.S. each year.

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Token 6 years, 8 months ago

An ironic observation. Recently in a town I saw more folks from across the border than locals. Absolutely no one was speaking the native tongue (including the locals), but the tongue from across the border. It was an absolute infiltration. I was in Mexico.. Americans are moving in and taking over land, businesses, jobs and lots of money. It was an interesting experience...

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nxoby36 6 years, 8 months ago

Token I lived and worked in Mexico for 5 years it cost $7,500 USD to get my work permit and I had to be sponsored by a company that had at least 15 Mexican Nationals already in their employe for every non-national they hired . There are not any English translations of any of the paper work it all has to be done in Spanish . Every document has to be translated from English to Spanish by a government approved translator . If You attempt to work with out an FM3 (permit) the Mexicans have no problem deporting you very quickly with out your belongings . I have seen it done many times . It can not be any fun arriving in Chicago with only the shorts and t-shirt you were wearing when picked up in January . They don't send you to the city of your choice you go out on the first available plane .
Yes if you are in the resort areas frequented by Americans you will find many people speaking english , It is a required second language in the schools there ( I wonder why our " Guest Workers " have forgotten what they learned in school ? ) If you have a CB or Marine radio and speak in English you are very quickly admonished and told you are only allowed to speak Spanish on the air while in Mexico. I have many Mexican friends who spoke english with me when I was only a tourist or non-working resident but when I got my work permit they quit this and spoke only Spanish with me telling me that I must learn the language of the Mexico if I was to work there. They did me a favor . If you where in a Resort area you where in a Mexican Federal Zone and the only way a non national may acquire land is by a 99 year lease that is not transferable to your kin . My suggestion to you is that you drive thru Mexico to visit areas other than tourist spots . You will find a very friendly , helpful people and a beautiful country but you will not find many people speaking English or taking American dollars even in the major cities.

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nxoby36 6 years, 8 months ago

I almost forgot, a valid driver license and insurance are required to drive in Mexico same as here. The Mexican immigrants that you read about driving without a license and insurance here would be breaking the law if they drove with out them in Mexico also .

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Token 6 years, 8 months ago

I wasn't commenting on the license issue, just the invasion of tourist areas of Mexico and other resort locales by Americans. Just an observation.

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

Token-Many Americans go to Mexico for the winter, just as many Canadians come to the U.S. for the winter. Bet you that they have passports. I don't care if immigrants come into this country. I just want them documented, with background checks. That's all. If they want to come here and work, that's fine. Get their papers in order, and they would be welcome. It's that simple. They are very welcome to come into this country legally.

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dreamweaver 6 years, 8 months ago

Someone wrote in to the travel editor at another paper yesterday asking if they could drive a car in Mexico for an extended vacation. What got my attention was this, and I quote: "Be advised that without Mexican insurance you may well end up in jail if you have an accident in Mexico." My concern is whether illegal aliens, if they are allowed to get a DL and own a vehicle, will be required to show proof of American insurance and pass our driving test. Whatever is decided needs to be fair- especially for we citizens that pay for insurance, registration, and keep our vehicles repaired in order to keep ourselves, our livelihoods, and our families safe.

Previously, I lived in a state that required inspections, and they made sense- especially with having to contend with winter weather. There are so many more accidents in the winter in CO that very well might be prevented with effective snow tires, good brakes, etc. I am cautious every time I drive in SS, watching to be sure that if I slow down or stop, the person behind me has good enough tires or brakes to stop in time.

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

If we want to see what our future holds all we need to do is look to our neighbors in the Southwest. Arizona has enacted some of the most aggressive legislation in the nation on illegal immigration issues.

The question (as I stated in an earlier post) is the long-term consequences.

There is an article in this morning's Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119760108815428771.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news) that highlights some of the problems the State is having with their new law that will take effect early next year.

Under the law, people will be encouraged to contact a county sheriff's or county attorney's office to report businesses they suspect of employing an illegal immigrant. After the sheriff investigates, the county attorney can then seek to suspend and ultimately revoke the business license of an employer who knowingly hires an illegal immigrant. The measure would also require all Arizona businesses to use E-Verify, a federal online database, to confirm that new hires have valid Social Security numbers and are eligible for employment.

Even before this law takes effect businesses and residents (legal and illegal) are reacting. Several of the businesses named in the article are now outsourcing, or have plans to in the very near future, to outsource many JOBS just across the border in Mexico. Many residents are packing up and moving to other states... like Colorado where the rules aren't as strict.

The greater concern now (probably rightfully so based on posts in this forum) is the fear of retribution by those of hispanic heritage that are in the country LEGALLY and have been for generations.

I can just see it now should our State enact such legislation. Our law enforcement officials will be spending more time checking up on every hispanic employee of every business in the county because some busy body heard them speaking Spanish or Spanglish instead of dealing with other issues (smells like big brother here).

Illegal immigration... its a balloon! Squeeze it here and it is going to bulge out somewhere else. Our politicians are too stupid to figure out where the bulge will be before reacting to public sentiment.

(It was hard but I refrained from saying anything negative about our current Sherriff)

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

By the way, the article does predict an 8.2% decline in economic output annually. It is just another source to validate sbvor's points earlier on. Only about 6% of the economic output (illegals make up 14% of the States employed population) would be made up by documented and legal citizens. Do we want to replicate this loss (exponentially) throughout the nation?

How about that freshair, snowy and brownskull? Are you interested in an 8% economic decline in Steamboat (or some relative percentage based on the economic output of illegal aliens in Routt County)?

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nxoby36 6 years, 8 months ago

Ah Yes that old joke: What do you call a man who speaks two languages ? Bilingual . What do you call a man who speaks three languages ? Trilingual. What do you call him if he speaks four or more ? Multilingual But what do you call him if he speaks only one ? An American of course !

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

How many illigal aliens are voting in our elections? According to the county clerk, all they have to do is swear that they are citizens of the United States. They do not have to offer any kind of proof. Maybe that is why there was a presidential debate done in Spanish. If they lie about being here legally, think they will tell the truth about everything else? If given a drivers license, isn't that just another way to make it easier to lie? Even if they have lived here for years, speak the language, and work under a phoney social security number, do you want them electing our government?

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Grannyrett, your logic confounds me. There was a presidential debate done in Spanish because there are millions of US citizens whose primary language is Spanish(well over 20 million legal residents).... and it is politically advantageous to host a debate in "their" language.

Obviously our democratic system has flaws... towns where a cat can get elected mayor, where a 12 year old has been allowed to vote, etc. Don't even get me started on the pregnant chad.

No I would not want anyone who is not legally eligible to vote (illegal aliens, cats, dogs, 12 year olds and most convicted felons) electing our governmental representation, but that is not the real issue here.

If someone who came from another country (regardless of that country AND the language they speak) has gone through the effort to obtain citizenship they have earned more of a right to vote than perhaps many of us who have this right (and responsibility) simply by being born in the right geographic location and who know absolutely nothing about our history and what got us here. Regardless of how much you like it the fact is that there are about 28.1 million residents that come from Spanish speaking countries(http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-29.pdf)... more than any other language.

The "official" language should always be English, but it should not be uncommon given our diverse heritage to see other languages supported. Think about it, if you drive across the country or go to any major city, how many television and radio stations broadcast solely in Spanish.

I spend quite a bit of time overseas and it is always so interesting for me to watch Americans who expect anyone they run into to speak English. How inconsistent can we be? We want everyone to speak "our language" when they are in "our country" but we refuse to learn their language and expect them to speak ours.

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

shorty, for someone who professes no sympathy for enabling illegals to enter and work in this country, it appears that, once they're here, you favor doing everything to make things easy for them.

From 'Why The US Needs English as The Official language':http://www.worldandi.com/newhome/public/2003/december/cipub2.asp

Even as the demand and usage of English spreads across the globe, English is on the retreat in vast sections of the United States. Our government makes it easy for immigrants to function in their native languages through bilingual education, multilingual ballots and driver's license exams, and government-funded translators in schools and hospitals. Providing most essential services to immigrants in their native languages is expensive for American taxpayers and also keeps immigrants linguistically isolated.

Historically, the need to speak and understand English has served as an important incentive for immigrants to learn the language and assimilate into the mainstream of American society. For the last 30 years, this idea has been turned on its head. Expecting immigrants to learn English has been called "racist." Marta Jimenez, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, speaks of "the historical use of English in the United States as a tool of oppression."

Groups such as the National Association for Bilingual Education complain about the "restrictive goal" of having immigrant children learn in English. The former mayor of Miami, Maurice Ferre, dismissed the idea of even a bilingual future for his city. "We're talking about Spanish as a main form of communication, as an official language," he averred. "Not on the way to English."

By the 1980s the executive director of LULAC, Arnoldo Torres, could proudly proclaim, "We cannot assimilate and we won't!"

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

English, as stated above, is the global de facto lingua franca. If somebody from South Korea or anywhere in Asia is doing business in Europe, they're communicating in English. Sure, it's nice to know more than one language but if we're talking about one language that will serve you better than any other anywhere in the world, we're talking about English.

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

The result of this is that the United States has a rapidly growing population of people--often native born--who are not proficient in English. The 2000 Census found that 21.3 million Americans (8 percent of the population) are classified as "limited English proficient," a 52 percent increase from 1990 and more than double the 1980 total. More than 5 million of these people were born in the United States.

Citing census statistics gives an idea of how far English is slipping in America, but it does not show how this is played out in everyday life. Consider the following examples: The New York Times reports that Hispanics account for over 40 percent of the population of Hartford, Connecticut, and that the city is becoming "Latinized." Last year, Eddie Perez became Hartford's first Hispanic mayor. The city Web page is bilingual, and after-hours callers to the mayor's office are greeted by a message in Spanish. Half of Hartford's Hispanics do not speak English. According to Freddy Ortiz, who owns a bakery in the city, "In the bank, they speak Spanish; at the hospital, they speak Spanish; my bakery suppliers are starting to speak Spanish. Even at the post office, they are Americans, but they speak Spanish." Even Mayor Perez notes that "we've become a Latin city, so to speak. It's a sign of things to come."

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, freshair! You are good at putting words in my mouth. I don't think I said anything about making it easy for anyone (regardless of language). What about : "The 'official' language should always be English" is unclear?

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

shorty... 'We want everyone to speak "our language" when they are in "our country" but we refuse to learn their language and expect them to speak ours.'

Yes, isn't that silly of us! Imagine that, expecting people to speak our language in our country. What does the fact of tourists unable to speak the language of the country they are visiting have to do with people unwilling to learn and speak the language of a country they are living and working in???

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colowoodsman 6 years, 8 months ago

Imagine for a moment what it would really mean for America to become bilingual. All of our laws would have to be interpreted into Spanish including the IRS code. Courts cases which are difficult enough in one language would have to have interpreters and as we well know something is always lost through interpretation. Traffic signs, street signs, legal notices published in the paper would all have to be done twice. At one time English was becoming the most common language in the world. Wouldn't it be better if we just had one common universal language?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 8 months ago

One universal language? Uh-oh! Better watch out! All the the kooks will start calling you a No Good, Commie Pinko!

Since when was english becoming the most common language? Back in the 80's, most business people were learning japanese. In the 90's, spanish became the language to learn thanks to NAFTA, and still continues today.

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freshair 6 years, 8 months ago

Spanish the language to learn? Sure, if you're doing business in heavily hispanic areas of the US. But English has become the de facto global language of choice for communication between the various peoples of the Earth.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 8 months ago

freshair- Look around you. Not just Steamboat, but L.A., N.Y., etc. What's in store windows? "Se Habla Espanol." South America is slowly creeping up the business ladder further, thanks to oil. Almost a whole continent speaking a latin-derived language.

Then also look at the people you might be pointing out speaking English in non-English countries: odds are, they speak more than just English and their 1st language. Odds are, they'll speak at least a third language even if they aren't corporate suits.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 8 months ago

to obtain a pilot license, you must be able to speak and read english, the reason may be the value it has to communication, I don't know about you but I hope the pilot of my plane speaks english... That being said as we dilute ourselves and go on to a more liberal society eventually we will all be speaking farci, after all we would not want to offend anybody, not that it would be forced on us by a peaceful loving people.................

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jeep 6 years, 8 months ago

i got hit head on in vernal Utah in 1980,by a drunk person who was legally separated from her husband went to his house stoled a car no insurance hit me head on she died ,could have been me ,left me in the hospital for 3 months ,broken hips , pelvis and a lot more ,I had insurance to pay for these uninsured people at my expense my $$$$$$ to protect me , bs to the people who drive with no insurance or health insurance ,get a life

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

Freshair; what is the most commonly spoken language in the world? It is not English. What is the most common language in the world in which business is conducted? It is not English. Know your facts before you espouse them. In Europe and Asia the most common language in which business is conducted is no longer English.

In nearly every other country in the world its residents typically know multiple languages... but not in the United States. Wow, no wonder we get the "ugly American" reputation.

bonne nuit, gute nacht, boa noit, buenas noche

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colowoodsman 6 years, 8 months ago

shortbus, what IS the most common language and how do you know?

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grannyrett 6 years, 8 months ago

It doesn't really matter what language is the most commonly used in the world. In this country, it is English, and illegal aliens are illegal. Enforce the law. If wanting the law enforced makes me a bigot, so be it. Calling someone a bigot is just what is done when you run out of logic to push your point of view. It's like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum when it is trying to get it's way. When someone is in this country illegally, they need to be sent home. I know that if an American has a child in a foreign country, that child has duel citizenship. An illegal with child can take that child home, and when the child reaches 18, he or she can decide which country it wants to be a citizen of. If an illegal would put as much effort into making their country better as they put into getting into this country, they might have a country they would want to stay in.

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id04sp 6 years, 8 months ago

Mexico is corrupt and dangerous. That's why people leave it, and why it's so poor.

So, let's do for Mexico what we've done for Iraq. Let's invade, replace the current form of government, give the people the opportunity to be free and prosper, and see how that goes.

As for Americans speaking only English, don't most kids study a foreign language in high school?

And, as for why most Europeans learn English, it's a matter of economic survival. Try selling Volvos when every sound that comes out of your mouth sounds like an involuntary utterance during en epileptic seizure.

Natural selection has chosen English and Spanish as the predominant languages in the Western Hemisphere. What's wrong with that?

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shortbus 6 years, 8 months ago

The most commonly spoken language in the world (as of 2001) is Mandarin Chinese (885 million). Spanish is number 2 (332 million), English number 3 (322 million) according to http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/class/ns/article/0,17585,186570,00.htmlSource. This is only one source, and admitedly a little dated.

English and Spanish swap places depending on the source you look at, but they are always in the top three with Chinese being number one and English/Spanish being within 10 million people of each other. I have seen references to there being nearly 1.2 billion people speaking Mandarin Chinese, but the sources were not reputable enough to quote as fact. Most sources put the figure around 8-900 million.

With all of the expansion of US firms into China (that is a whole other topic!) Chinese has become the most common language spoken in business transactions worldwide.

Grannyrett, I agree with your comment. I do not care if someone speaks Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, whatever. If they are here illegally enforce the law.

Telling them to speak English does not accomplish this. Requiring them to get a US driver's license does not accomplish it either.

If you have attained entry into our country by other than ethical and legal means I doubt that we can expect these individuals to act in an upright manner.... I am sorry, but every time I am near a vehicle that fits a certain stereotype I assume the driver is an illegal. I do my best to stay away from them. Is that a bigoted approach... definitely, but it is also wiser to err on the side of caution.

Arizona's approach is almost there, my only fear is for those who attained the right to live here LEGALLY and the discrimination they will likely face with the new law.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 8 months ago

Shortbus, I have been to China and toured a number of factories and other sites there. There is great interest in China to learn to speak ,read and write English and for obvious reasons. Why would the Chinese want to be trade partners with the Spanish speaking countries? I also know that in some European countries such as Demark children are required to learn English in grammar school. I agree with grannyrett that illegals should be sent back. I belive the current mortgage crisis is a result of illegal workers underminning our economy but that is another topic.

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