When I was at the US naturalization ceremony, the USCIS people were making a big fuss about how now that we’re citizens, we need to vote. That voting is the heart of American democracy and to not exercise that right would be un-American. That no matter what anyone says, your vote counts and your say in the political process does have huge implcations.
I agree with them 100%. In fact, almost everyone I talked to said that they’re looking FORWARD to voting because they felt like bystanders in all the elections that they could NOT vote on. So USCIS people are belaboring the point.
What I do not agree is how they had to translate this message in 5 different languages.
I don’t understand how USCIS can naturalize people who do not speak English. This is DUMB. Why are we lowering our standards and taking people who do not speak the language of the land? Why don’t we set our standards high so people can strive for them as opposed to lowering the bar so everyone can “meet the guidelines”. I interpret ths to mean “we at USCIS don’t wanna get sued so we try to please everyone”.
This would be equivalent of DMV giving out driver’s licenses to blind people because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. This is ridiculous. The lady behind me (who looked like she was in her 40′s) came to US two DECADES ago and still had to have translation for her to fill out the voter registration form.
People will say this is racist if this statement came out from the mouth of a white person. But I’m not white.
In fact, I used to be FOR dual (if not multiple) language system in the public world. ONe statement made me re-think this when a white guy told me: “when I was in mainland China, they expected me to speak Chinese”.
Yeah. That makes sense. If I move to Mexico, I have to speak SPANISH. If I move to Indonesia, I have to speak INDONESIAN. If I move to France, I have to speak FRENCH. I don’t expect them to change their system to support multiple languages, and NEITHER DO THEY! Even if a lot of non-Spanish speaking suddenly dominated the population of France, I doubt they’re gonna change the language system to fit OUR needs.
Of course, US has historically been a country of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. But they ALL assimilated. Look at the immigrants from Europe that did NOT speak English: Germans, French, Italians, etc. So in fact, this is not a racist comment at all. By raising the standard, we are in fact becoming non-discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a white, brown, yellow, red, purple, or neon green. If you live in a country that you moved to, you speak their language. If you move to the US and call it home, then you speak ENGLISH.
I’ve gotten people roll their eyes at me because of this opinion I have. (Apparently, this is a country where you can express your views w/o being persecuted.) Some say that English is hard for a lot of immigrants… that as long as they get the principals, are law abiding people, and meet the USCIS guideline for naturalization, that they should be given naturalization.
My mom came to this country at her age of 46, broke. She spent thousands of dollars on private ESL classes that she attended at 7 AM EVERY morning before going to her self-funded grueling business for 12 hours. She would come home and do homework for an HOUR and forbade me to speak anything but English during certain hours of the day. She got her citizenship test in ENGLISH and passed at age of 55.
Now, this is the standard that we need to raise the bar at.
No more excuses. Shape up or ship out. (No pun intended.)