ProEnglish Blasts USDA Ruling to Provide Special Language Services for Illegal Aliens
Contact: Phil Kent
June 4, 2012 Phone: (404) 226-3549
Arlington, VA — ProEnglish denounced a recent federal ruling that would make the U.S. Forest Service provide special language interpretation for illegal aliens. Theruling came from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights within the U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA), which includes the Forest Service.
“This absurd ruling stems from an erroneous interpretation of the law,” said ProEnglish executive director Robert Vandervoort. “The USDA is wrongly equating language with national origin, which no court has ever held.”
All of this came about when two illegal aliens were stopped by Forest Service officer sat the Olympic Peninsula forest in the state of Washington. The illegals were picking the plant salal (used in floral arrangements), and the officers asked to see their IDs and permit to pick the plant.
The officers called for the Border Patrol to provide them with back up and language assistance. When the Border Patrol arrived, the illegals fled and one of them drowned in a nearby river. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project stepped in and filed a complaint with the USDA.
The USDA’s internal ruling determined that the U.S. Forest Service’s use of Border Patrol agents was “discriminatory.” The U.S. Forest Service is now required to develop a “language access plan” for non-English speakers, among other measures.
“The ACLU and illegal alien rights groups battle these disputes in private between the agencies in order to come to a settlement where both the courts and the taxpayers are absent from the table,” added ProEnglish government relations director Suzanne Bibby. “Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack needs to explain why he plans to force taxpayers to fund translations for illegal aliens during a time of record high deficits.”