Town Threatened Over “Anti-Immigrant” English Only Law
APRIL 23, 2010
In the latest move to protect illegal immigrants who speak only Spanish, a rural
The “misguided ordinance” is unconstitutional and a symptom of “anti-immigrant hostility that was swept the country in recent years,” according to the famously liberal group (American Civil Liberties Union) threatening the legal action. It also discriminates against those with limited English skills and prohibits a vast array of constitutionally protected speech.
More importantly, the new law violates a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits municipal governments from discriminating against non English-speaking people, according a threat delivered by the ACLU to Jackson New York officials this week. The group asserts that the new rule will exclude non English speakers from accessing vital services such as government-funded health services or police protection.
The town is located east of
Three states which have enacted similar ordinances have been legally challenged for violating “constitutionally protected speech rights,” the group points out. Besides, the ACLU assures, “The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else in the state or country.”
Municipalities nationwide have been sued in recent years for enacting legislation seen as hostile towards illegal immigrants. Cities and towns have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend their measures in court and some have rescinded them because they can’t afford ongoing legal battles to defend them.
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