Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anti-English-Only Funding Resolution to Be Introduced at Tonight's Meeting

Tonight the Metro Council can vote to accept a $25,000 State of Tennessee grant to provide interpreter services for indigent defendants with limited English proficiency.

What the hell are Tennessee taxpayers doing funding interpreters for indigent immigrants? According to CM Eric Crafton that makes them shiftless. He insists that providing services in other languages makes it harder for foreigners to learn English. We'll see if he chooses to fight this bill even though it requires no matching funds from Metro. It's free money. But according to Crafton, his fight is on principle and patriotism; so, if he is as authentic as he claims to be about English, then he should fight this resolution tonight. And he should get some support, given that a number of members who voted with him last time are back this term.

UPDATE: I can see Eric Crafton sitting in Council Chambers, and he did not lift a finger to oppose this grant, even as it violated the principle of English Only. I would call that further evidence that his "English First Only" ballot initiative is not about immigrants learning English. It's about influencing elections in the fall by mobilizing conservatives with lightning rod issues.

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