Thursday, October 2, 2008 , Updated 8:45 a.m., October 7, 2008
UPDATED: Lewisville City Council to consider ordinance making English official language
If the ordinance were passed, it would be only the third-such ordinance in Texas.
Although Monday night's agenda is not yet published, I've received confirmation from the City Secretary's office that the City Council will discuss an ordinance to make English the official language of the City of Lewisville.
I must say that I am embarrassed already. If the ordinance were passed, it would be only the third-such ordinance in Texas. The town of Oak Point passed it in 2007.
Sometime tonight or Friday morning, the city will publish the official agenda here.
I am told that Councilman Lathan Watts, the extreme right-wing construction-industry lobbyist first elected in 2006 on a platform of stopping a proposed day-labor shelter, has introduced the proposed ordinance.
During this summer's economic meltdown, immigration has taken a back seat as a national issue, but Republicans who see immigration as an issue with some appeal to their base in a time when their slate of candidates is less-than-exciting may be anxious to use the City Council as a vehicle to energize a withering base against a growing immigrant population.
While it may be true that English is the common and uniting language in our country, and is the language of opportunity, such an ordinance would only do harm by alienating and further polarizing our community. Some see it as a way of intimidating illegal immigrants, but I am concerned about its ramifications on children and legal immigrants who speak Spanish or other languages as their primary language.
UPDATE: After lengthy discussion, the council voted to not consider a resolution establishing an official language. Duane Olson, Mayor of Oak Point where they did adopted a resolution to make English the official language, offered testimony that it turned out to be a bad thing.
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