Senate to drivers – Speak English

According to state Sen. Jack Murphy, there are 13 languages in which someone can sit and test for their Georgia driver’s license.

For him, that is about a dozen too many. So on Tuesday, the Cumming republican revised and got approved a bill that would make English the official and only language someone can use to get their license.

Murphy, who chairs the public safety committee, said it was naturally a safety issue. Drivers who can’t read road signs pose a danger to everyone, he said.

But critics of the bill, point to the fact that illiterate Georgians are still allowed to drive and are helped with the test. But their overriding concern is that the bill is anti-immigration and stunts economic development in the state.

They even have a name for it.

The “Kia Go Home” bill, named after the South Korean automaker which builds cars here in Georgia with a sizable Korean workforce.

“This bill would tell Kia that it is okay to invest a billion dollars here in Georgia, but your employees cannot drive here,” said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. “This is sending the wrong message and would make Georgia the only state in the country with a law like this. It is anti-immigration, anti-Latino and anti-economy development.”

SB 67 was actually a bill from the last legislative session that many thought was long dead. It passed the Senate and the House last year but lawmakers failed to agree on language before the session ended.

Tuesday’s re-appearance of the bill was a surprise since it was not listed on the Senate Rules Calendar for Day 31. Murphy said he stripped the bill of a confusing amendment the House added. It now goes back to the House, where he predicts it will pass out of.

“Look, I can’t go to France or Germany or Mexico and get a driver’s license. Yet, we give them in 13 languages here,” Murphy said. “It is amazing how many people cannot read English who are driving. You should have to have a basic understanding of English to be able to drive. And it gives them a great incentive to learn English.”

The bill impacts those who are permanent residents only. Temporary license seekers are exempt. But while Murphy said his bill targets non-English speaking people who can’t read traffic signs and emergency messages, he said the bill doesn’t account for illiterate Georgians.

“We have to make an exception and we are not going to take them off the road,” Murphy said.

So, a 70-year-old Georgia man with a 2nd grade education, who can’t read, would still be allowed to get a license because he speaks English.

“In Georgia, an illiterate person can go and have an exam administrated to him orally,” said Democrat Nan Orrock of Atlanta. “That just shows you the hostility toward people who speak another language. Immigrants learn English. We have 250 years of history that proves that. So that is a non-issue.”

Orrock debated Murphy furiously against the bill, which ultimately passed 39-11. She said the bill diminishes Georgia’s global competitiveness.

“This sends a hostile message under the banner of anti-immigration,” Orrock said. “Our governor travels at taxpayer expense to other nations seeking businesses to come here. We are speaking with a forked tongue here in Georgia, when we say we want your investment, but create a barrier to a basic tool – which is a driver’s license.”

Murphy said the bill is not designed to be against immigration and said he doubts that the state’s economy would be impacted by it.

“It is not going to hurt economic development,” Murphy said. “Nobody has approached us about it hurting economic development.”

69 comments Add your comment

The Chicago Way

March 30th, 2010
3:36 pm

“Drivers who can’t read road signs pose a danger to everyone, he said.”

But those Americans who can’t read are ok? H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E

mrs.white&black

March 30th, 2010
4:01 pm

Unbelievable. It’s amazing how much you politicians from Ga. HATE anything/anyone that doesn’t sound/look like you.Everything I heard about Georgia being backwards when it comes to silly things like selling liquor on Sundays, and how a lot of ppl here including lots of politicians are racist seem true. At first I agreed thinking to myself that it makes sense that you should be able to read the road signs if you’re going to get a license. But then I saw that ppl that can’t read but can speak English won’t have to go through this. Realizing how spiteful/racist politicians are here in Ga. unfortunately makes me want to stoop to their level and say some silly kiddie phrase like,”nananana boo boo…etc..while cheering the inevitable truth that “they” will be a minority group someday soon(including their children/grandchildren) and will see what it feels like to be treated without dignity and respect.

same ole bull sh**

March 30th, 2010
4:05 pm

With all the problems we have in our state;you would think they would have something better to do.How about the budget,educaton, jobs.

Gman

March 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

Un-be-livable!

same ole bull sh**

March 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

P.S. I bet they will eat a mexican restaurant with their family to night.

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Who Cares

March 30th, 2010
4:36 pm

I bet the menu at the mexican restaurant is printed in ENGLISH

T-Bone

March 30th, 2010
4:44 pm

Give me a break. Most road signs are designed to be understandable by drivers who can’t read English. In fact, most of them are pictorial. Think about the last lane merge sign or school crossing sign you saw..

interested observer

March 30th, 2010
5:08 pm

Typical of Georgia legislators. Of course, Georgia makes it impossible for an undocumented immigrant to get a driver’s license, depends on that immigrant for low-cost construction and poultry processing, then fines the bejesus out of him when he’s ticketed for driving without a license by a police force in the revenue business.

Funny thing though. People immigrate to opportunity and nothing will stop them. Just as the Europeans displaced the native Americans, the Hispanics will displace the largely white Americans. What goes around comes around.

Peckerwood

March 30th, 2010
5:13 pm

Sickening to see all the people on here defending “immigrants rights”. NEWS FLASH: If you illegal you have NO rights!!

Brittanicus

March 30th, 2010
5:27 pm

We have politicians that have intervened in making E-Verify permanently such as Harry Reid and majority Speaker Nancy Pelosi who are unlikely to be reelected. ONE THINGS FOR SURE, ANY KIND OF AMNESTY WILL BE DIFFICULT TO PASS IN THIS ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT, EVEN AS THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STILL RISES? THE PROTECTION OF EVERY US WORKERS JOB SHOULD BE FIRST ON ANY AGENDA, INCLUDING A HIGH LEVER OF NATIONAL SECURITY.

This week the strong ongoing evidence that the border states are in constant danger, when a Arizona Rancher was shot dead on his property near the Southwest border. Rob Krentz with his dog had been shot and killed and was found by an Arizona Public Safety helicopter. Authorities say they found footprints near Krentz’s vehicle and followed them to the U.S./Mexican border. .Phil Krentz said that the last time he spoke to Rob, he was responding to an injured illegal alien. The border region is becoming a battleground and it’s high time the Homeland Security Chief Napolitano issued orders for the NATIONAL GUARD, fully armed to keep US civilians safe from incursions of drug smugglers, illegal alien criminals and even terrorists. The US border Patrol, and scattered law enforcement is no longer enough to fight this spreading blood bath. Demand this today from our government lawmakers at 202-224-3121. Find out more on all illegal immigration outrages at http://www.numbersusa.com and http://www.judicialwatch.org.

RC

March 30th, 2010
5:27 pm

Georgia wouldn’t be the only state to do this. Illinois, one of those bluest of blue progressive states, also requires the exam to be in English.

That said, I still think this is stupid.

Ron

March 30th, 2010
5:45 pm

Woo hoo! Another step in the right direction. We need to keep it up and maybe eventually these illegals will leave. They have done such a good job bringing in gangs, drugs, and crime. You illegal losers have no right since you are NOT USA CITIZENS! Obviously, congress does not want you here. Leave!

Byron Mathison Kerr

March 30th, 2010
6:11 pm

What would it take to encourage intelligent people to go into politics, for a change?

Mike

March 30th, 2010
6:38 pm

ITS ABOUT TIME!!! For those of you who don’t like it go back to Mexico they speak spanish there.

For those of you idiots who think that people who can’t read shouldn’t have a license. You have to pass a written test, where you have to read and answer questions….. So your theory doesn’t hold water.

Learn English or leave.. You are not wanted here if you can’t speak English.

Dee

March 30th, 2010
7:05 pm

I have no issue with immigrants to this country, but do you realize that it costs money to give the test in all 13 languages? Do you also realize that we are just about the only country that would do this — in other countries, you cannot generally stay beyond a simple vacation without having a working command of the language.

Here is what really bothered me in the story “The “Kia Go Home” bill, named after the South Korean automaker which builds cars here in Georgia with a sizable Korean workforce.”

Um, with all of the hoopla about bringing Kia to Georgia, after giving the obligatory tax breaks, why is Kia employing Koreans instead of Americans?

Sick of it

March 30th, 2010
7:05 pm

First of all,if you speak English but cannot read English, you are still dangerous on the road. Nowhere did it say “illegal” non-English speaking people need to be able to read and speak English. There are plenty of people who are here legally that don’t read or speak English. This would discriminate against ALL people who can’t read or speak English. This is foolish in that GA wants to entice big overseas companies to set up shop and do business in the state, yet discriminates against the very people who they want to do this. I feel we are moving backward in time over these and similar issues. We are supposed to be the “melting pot” of the world. We should be inclusive of ALL people regardless of their religious,nationality, or sexual orientaitons. AS aside note, people should back off and leave the issue of whether the school board was correct in allowing that young man to bring his “boyfriend” to the prom alone. Since there were no provisions in writing to address this issue, they made the right decision. Just thought I’d throw that in.

Gator Nation

March 30th, 2010
8:15 pm

It is rare that I say this, but….I absolutely agree with the georgia legislature on this one. Good Job.

luangtom

March 30th, 2010
8:19 pm

For all of you that are indignant about the change to English-only testing, I would say none of you have visited a foreign country for any length of time and tried to attain a DL there. I spend Winter in my wife’s homeland of Thailand and not one document that I need to fill out for a DL there is in English. It is up to me to either know Thai or to have my own interpreter along to help with the questions. What is wrong with having those prerequisites here? Why should we employ a dozen different languages in addition to English for testing? My wife is an immigrant and she attained her DL here in the USA, albeit in MN, in English. She also took classes to learn English for her citizenship tests in English. She wanted to become a US-citizen. Why cannot those that want to live here assimilate and learn English and test in English? I learned enough Thai to get along there, why cannot these immigrants learn enough English to get along here? My wife and I both support the drive to have English as an official language here.

harry dirty

March 30th, 2010
9:57 pm

when do they have time to take driver’s test, they are so busy breeding.

David

March 30th, 2010
10:39 pm

Like Danny Porter and Butch Conway, it’s about time that someone stepped up to the plate and said; ENOUGH IS ENOUGH……and that is correct, KIA employees have to speak and read english too!!!

Pat

March 30th, 2010
10:44 pm

The purpose of all the tax breaks to KIA was to provide jobs for Georgians. So why does KIA have a sizable Korean workforce? We don’t have a sizable US workforce in the countries where US businesses have outsourced, the employees are citizens of Mexico, China, etc.

Repeal all tax breaks and subsidies. KIA you can go home for not hiring legal Georgian citizens.

Just the Facts

March 30th, 2010
11:43 pm

Lets get a few things straight….

Driving is a Priviledge NOT a Right. The biggest issue we all have is with safety and personal property protection from those who are here illegally and those who are here legally but refuse to learn a language that is the OFFICIAL Language of the United States.

We have military in over 60 countries presently….in about 49 or so of those countries ENGLISH is not the spoken language and in those 49 approximately 42 our military personnel are not allowed to drive a private vehicle.

We allow persons to come here and drive without insurance and without the responsiblity to protect citizens from these drivers.

If we really wanted to make things fair and have all of these illegal drivers and illegal persons in this country pay their FAIR share….go to a state and local income tax thru sales tax and eliminate all the other income taxes assessed to us law abiding tax paying responsible people.

All of you illegal reformist on here…..if you do not like what is going on your country will take you back.

Taylor

March 31st, 2010
1:00 am

Let’s consider a few things, shall we? First of all, there are many legal residents of this country who do not speak English all too well. They may live in close-knit communities where their native language is the only one spoken. Should these law-abiding, peaceful citizens be denied the privilege of driving because their English skills aren’t good enough to take the written test? Even when they can clearly understand many of the international iconic road signs that Georgia and the US utilizes? Oh, and Mr. Murphy, as an Atlantan temporarily residing in Mexico City, I TOTALLY got a driver’s license in English. I’ll be more than happy to show it to you upon my return.

brad

March 31st, 2010
3:04 am

Murphy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You can sit a driver’s license exam in English in all those countries he mentioned.

James

March 31st, 2010
7:05 am

It would be reasonable to have a higher cost for obtaining a license in another language to help cover costs for that program, but it is beyond ridiculous to snub folks in this way. To assume that all non-english speaking residents are here illegally is the epitome of ignorance.

That’s for you “peckerwood” and your peckerwood friends.

ic

March 31st, 2010
7:17 am

This bill is targeted towards LEGAL RESIDENTS and CITIZENS of Georgia !! Do you know 5000 hard working tax paying legal georgians take the driver license per month in 13 languages. We want new immigrants to get the.DL ASAP then they can drive to school or work or ESL classes to be even more productive citizens. By the way the bill exempt illiterates and foreign visitors. Now does that make senses ? This is the kind of hatred of new immigrants in GA Senate and House

Proud to Be An American

March 31st, 2010
7:30 am

We live in the state of Georgia, one of the 50 states in the United States. This is an English-speaking state and nation. It is not absurd to expect those who live and work here to abide by our laws and to do so they must have at least a basic understanding of English. If you want to drive in another country you must be able to have a basic grasp of that language. This is not anti-immigration. This is common sense. As for the comment about a menu from a Mexican restaurant being printed in English, if it is in this country, then YES it would be. However, there are some words which are distinctly Spanish that are now part of the English language. If you were to visit Spain, as I have, the signs and menus are in SPANISH. They invite tourists and visitors and immigration but also expect the people to have a basic grasp of their language. What’s the big deal?
This nation has the most liberal of immigration laws and citizenship requirements of any in the free world. But let’s not just drop the laws completely because it might “offend” some.

As for those who like to use the words “hate” and “racist” when it comes to anything pertaining to a different thought – enough already. Look up the definitions first and stop jumping on the band wagon of those who have no respect for this REPUBLIC (we are NOT a democracy).

Driver's license and registration

March 31st, 2010
7:43 am

Why doesn’t the General Assembly ask law enforcement what they think? I work in law enforcement and have to deal with both legal and illegal immigrants everyday on the roads. The ones who cannot speak English are difficult to deal with and cannot understand how to take care of a simple speeding ticket. Some will have interpreters in the car with them, but not all. I am only required to speak to them in English, so if they cannot understand it that falls on them. It makes our job very difficult it also burdens the public and the court system. The immigrants who do not have a license end up going to jail and wasting taxpayers money and my time. I do wish that Georgia would issue ID cards to anyone who wants them so that I do not have to figure out which last name the person goes by.

How would you like it if someone came to your office or place of business every day and only spoke his native tongue and refused to learn at least enough English to communicate with you? This would force you to learn Spanish or Korean wouldn’t it? Many police officers are forced to learn enough Spanish to deal with violators of traffic laws. What is next? Will we be required to learn all 13 languages that the test is available in? Who decides which languages the test is available in? I guess we could spend a bunch of taxpayer money on Rosetta Stone for police officers. Let’s see if that bill will pass.

To the people who say road signs are in an international language, that is true to some extent. The signs that the General Assembly are refrring to are the DOT message boards and other signs like construction signs printed only in English words with no symbols. I thought even AJC readers could figure that one out.

dan

March 31st, 2010
8:08 am

I can tell the senator has not traveled outside the US. The signs are used world wide. We need to remember, the things that we do here have an effect on how we are treated when we go abroad.

The Cynical White Boy

March 31st, 2010
8:22 am

And, ulm, how many languages is the almighty AJC available in? And, at what cost?

And, ulm, just how many languages is the almightly Latino organization website available in besides spanish? Hmmm?

And, when was the last time you read the almightly AJC rake anyone over the coals about the racism shown by blacks towards hispanics? Blacks toward asians? Hispanics toward asians? I sure hear about it from my friends in metro-atlanta (and read of it in their newspapers), but never read about anything racist except white vs. non-white in the AJC.

A Realist

March 31st, 2010
8:27 am

I had to sit here awhile before I could write anything…….so many tears of joy were streaming down my face I couldn’t see……this is sooooooo good……please, please, please, please, go a step further and rid our state of all the illegal aliens living here and the outrage over the passage of this bill will be no more than a whimper. Folks, our infrastructure is overburdened……our schools are a mess…..this should be the beginning of the end.

Rick in Lawrencville

March 31st, 2010
8:27 am

Driver’s test should be in English.

K-12 grade education should be conducted in English. Do Germany, Mexico, or France conduct their primary and secondary school classes in English?

We also need to have local law enforcement check for drivers that do not have licenses and vehicle insurance! Without a driver’s license, they should be held in jail until they can be identified, not released after using a false name. How else can law enforcement determine if this person has outstanding warrants?

about time

March 31st, 2010
8:28 am

Having recently rented a car in Italy, I had no issue with my driving even though all the signs were printed in Italian and I barely know how to say anything more than good evening in Italian. This really is not a safety issue. It’s all about these politicians dislike of anything that is not exactly like they are.

Nancy

March 31st, 2010
8:37 am

Thank you Sen. Jack Murphy…….it is about time that someone stands up for what is right. This is America and if you do not want to learn/speak English, then go back to whatever country you came from. I feel the same way about going to a foreign country, if you go there for any extended time period or to live, then you should learn the language, at least the basics, that is called respect. Whenever anyone disagrees with a liberal they are a racist, enough alredy okay. This is not a racist issue this is an issue of respect andf safety. I am a transplanted Georgian, so don’t try and make everything that anyone from Georgia opposes is racially motivated. I am sick and tired of being called a racist simply because I love my country and respect the foundation from which it was established.

Mike

March 31st, 2010
8:41 am

Has the ACLU filed a law suit yet?

Surely U Jest

March 31st, 2010
9:25 am

So what’s next border stops on the interstates so that we can make sure that anyone entering the state while operating a motor vehicle can speak English? Will Murphy include a ban on car rentals using an international driver’s license which does not require the driver to speak English but only translate the information on their country specific license into English. So Senator Murphy if this really is about safety and not xenophobia, then you really need to make sure it’s comprehensive.

This is from the US government website:

An International Driving Permit (IDP) translates information contained on your driver’s license into 10 languages so that officials in foreign countries are able to interpret your license. An IDP supplements a valid government-issued license–it does not serve as a replacement for a license. If you are stopped by law enforcement, you will most likely be asked to produce both your IDP and your official driver’s license. The United States does NOT issue International Driving Permits to foreign visitors, so you will need to obtain this document before traveling to the U.S.

Junior Samples

March 31st, 2010
9:40 am

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

It’s still there, a bronze plaque located in the Statue of liberty exhibit on the second floor of the pedestal.

Unless you’re an American Indian, we ALL came from somewhere else.
Stop being hypocrites.

A georgia Citizen

March 31st, 2010
9:42 am

The thing is, you CAN go to Germany and get a driver’s license test in English. You don’t even have to do that most of the time, you can literally just exchange your american license for a german one.

http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/driving.html

Lauren

March 31st, 2010
9:44 am

I just want to remind all of you that not all immigrants come here illegally – in fact there are many here from many countries that help to support Georgia’s economy. This bill is nothing but political posturing of the worse sort. It helps the legislature bow to the very far right but hurts immigrants that come to GA to work. The license is needed before anything else when an immigrant arrives. Think about it – you need an ID to do anything – the license is the ID.

Ken

March 31st, 2010
9:58 am

Junior Samples

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
Yes, but you have to come in a legal way. Do all of you believe in breaking the law or do you want to choose what laws you can break. If you are unhappy about the treatment of illegal aliens, do you want also to release everyone in prison. Also you have the freedom if you are a citizen to move out of the State of Georgia.

JWN

March 31st, 2010
10:00 am

Just another example of how racist, ignorant, and backwards Georgia is. Sorry, the idiots that run Georgia are. The bottom line is this, what is the difference between a person that can’t read English, and a person that can’t read at all? NOTHING. Neither one of them can read!! Hell, at least the immigrant can read in his native language. This bill reeks of racism and anti immigrant sentiment. I see references to illegal immigrants, here, but what about the ones that are here legally? Guess they should have to walk because they don’t speak or read English, huh? These nut jobs that are always screaming less government and the government not running peoples lives are damn hypocrites. They totally disregard that sentiment when they want run people’s lives. PATHETIC!!!!!

chefdavid

March 31st, 2010
10:09 am

these guys must all go to the same seminar. TN is doing the same thing we call it the go home VW law
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_172328.asp

U DRIVE U UNDERSTAND ENGLISH!!!

March 31st, 2010
10:36 am

TS ABOUT TIME!!! For those of you who don’t like it go back to Mexico they speak Spanish there. Mexico MAKES NO PROVISIONS FOR ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE! NONE SO WHY SHOULD WE!!!?

For those of you idiots who think that people who can’t read shouldn’t have a license. You have to pass a written test, where you have to read and answer questions….. So your theory doesn’t hold water.

Learn English or leave.. You are not wanted here if you can’t speak English.(reflects another s comments,which speak what I also think!

Shan

March 31st, 2010
10:36 am

I would agree with making the driving exam in English only. If someone cannot read or speak English, they are a danger to everyone on the road. Illiterate Georgians, and those who cannot or speak English need to learn to read and speak the language before ever taking the test, or rest yet, operating a vehicle. This bill should be aimed at both groups because it’s not an issue of immigration, but of safety.

Junior Samples

March 31st, 2010
10:37 am

Ken,

Can you prove your ancestors arrived here legally?

Release everyone from prison? That’s quite a jump.

And I’ll think I’ll stay right here, just to annoy you.

270.Mark

March 31st, 2010
10:51 am

Finally CHANGE I can believe in! If my company were to transfer me to Germany, I would start to learn German. If the same happens to someone working for Kia, then they should learn English. In todays global economy this is the way it should be. There is no shame in assimilation. You Libs have got to stop pandering for votes. Intelligence trumps emotion in every debate.

Shan

March 31st, 2010
11:02 am

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, rather, it is a matter of safety on our roads. When people try to marginalize this issue, it makes things worse not better. Common sense dictates that if you cannot read or speak the dominant language of the area that you reside in, should you operate a vehicle, you would be a danger on the road. Even if you are are an American citizen, if you can’t read, you don’t need to drive. Please stop turning this into an issue of illegal immigration, race, or ethnicity. Safety should be the primary concern that this bill addresses, rather than kowtow to racist or prejudiced people.

JWN

March 31st, 2010
11:19 am

@ U DRIVE U UNDERSTAND ENGLISH 10:36

Not all immigrants are from Mexico. That’s a very ignorant statement that is reflective on your true views. I’m sure you wish anyone that was not born in America would leave, don’t you? Then who would do the jobs that people like you think you are to good to be doing?

And as for this statement:
For those of you idiots who think that people who can’t read shouldn’t have a license. You have to pass a written test, where you have to read and answer questions….. So your theory doesn’t hold water.

How can a person who can’t read, pass a test where they have to read and answer questions? The key word there is READ!!!! Hell, if they can’t read, they can’t write, so how can they take the test? So, tell me, who is the idiot?? It’s people like you that votes these idiots into office and keep Georgia being the back woods, non progressive state that it is.

If you are going to have a bill like this, it should be aimed at illiterate people as well. They can’t read the sings either, so they present just as much of a safety concern as immigrants that don’t speak English. I can see where it would possibly need to be mandated that immigrants learn the language, at least the basics, but this bill is racist and ignorant!!

Georgia will never reach it’s potential as long as people like the moron that wrote this law are running things.

Anonymous Howard

March 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

So Sen. Jack Murphy is now holding up Mexico, Germany, and France(!) as examples of how we should run our country? What other French laws does he think we should emulate?

Everyone tell your neighbors Sen. Murphy supports Universal Healthcare!

Anonymous Howard

March 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

“Drivers who can’t read road signs pose a danger to everyone.” — Sen. Jack Murphy

“We have to make an exception and we are not going to take [illiterate people] off the road” — Sen. Jack Murphy

I realize “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” but what about foolish inconsistency?

Gentle Observations

April 1st, 2010
3:22 am

The cost alone for interpretors, test, and paperwork alone is reason enough to eliminate non english exams.

I can guarantee you there are more illegal drivers that contibute nothing to the community than the legals ones who pay taxes.

The housing market is proof that illegals are not interested in becoming real citizens,,,,

all of you liberal whiners…go march on the capitol while the rest of us work,,,

retiredds

April 1st, 2010
3:32 pm

I would suggest that these “southern” legislators learn English as well. When they speak it sounds like I’m in a foreign country, can’t understand a word they say.

dtchjcklgrl

April 1st, 2010
6:21 pm

I think that what Sen. Jack Murphy fails to understand is that there is no Constitutionally legislated language in the US. Neither does Georgia have a State Constitutionally legislated language.

@brad, I can sit a DL exam in English in the Netherlands for an extra 4 euros. No sweat.

@Nancy, read my above statement. THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONALLY LEGISLATED LANGUAGE IN THE US. There is only a language of habit, so to speak. That’s why the govt. has to provide documents and the like in many languages.

@Rick in Lawrenceville, most schools in Europe begin teaching their kids English in grade 5. Most major cities in the Netherlands have at least one bi-lingual (Dutch/English) high school. Kids in the Netherlands learn English, French and German and I’m not talking about those pathetic 2 year conversational courses given in most Ga high schools either.

Hellon Wheels

April 4th, 2010
6:53 pm

You got it, Peckerwood! I bet the KIA folks read and write English anyway.

Quentin Thomas (USAF Ret)

April 5th, 2010
11:14 am

Learning the language in the country where you choose to reside is a critical part of the immigration process. We have forgotten this. There is nothing evil about making residents of the USA learn english. Visit other countries and see if you can take official tests or do business in other than the local language……..Go Jack!

Thomas

April 5th, 2010
1:26 pm

If you have been here long enough to need a DL from the State, then you’ve been here long enough to read and write enough of our language to take the driving test. We’re not talking about someone who is on vacation from Moscow, here. These are folks who reside in the State and use the State’s services on a permanent basis. Legal immigrants have a work visa and other paperwork to indentify them. This bill is targeted against those who have illegally entered our country and are violating the law every day they continue to be here. If we want to solve illegal immigration we must stop the theft of government services we now allow these illegals to get away with. Those of you who subscribe to the theory they are necessary to the economy ponder this. A business owner pays a legal worker $10 an hour to do a certain job function out of that comes payroll tax, FICA and other taxes ,then he finds an illegal person who will do the same job for $6.00 cash off the books, no payroll tax, no FICA, just $6 cash, where do you think the savings to the business owner goes? Do you see prices going down in the industries who use undocumented illegal workers? I hate to be the one who breaks it to you, but the savings goes into the pocket of the business owner as straight profit. This only improves conditions for the business owners, and strains our economy because it has to support more people with less contributions. Remember, the government is supposed to get its money from taxes (not by running its printing presses overtime, like progressive liberals believe, it’s true read an economics book). If you have illegal undocumented workers who do not contribute to but use services, where does the money come from? It comes from higher taxes on the real citizens and legal immigrants in this country and they have to endure longer wait times to access the services they paid for because the system is plugged with non-payers. There is no free lunch, sooner or later the economic system will collapse under the weight of the non-contributer. If you won’t assimilate and contribute, go back to where you were born. Then you can speak and write your natice tongue all the time.

Paul Reeves

April 5th, 2010
4:11 pm

Once again, our state legislature is pandering to fools who can’t reason. It is a good thing to require that everyone should be able to read road signs, but if that logic is to be used for non-English-speaking persons, why not all, including the illiterate. How about a better and more sensible solution, such as putting road signs in international sign language, such as is done in Europe, and even in the U.S. in more enlightened states. If that’s too much to do, how about a test that requires EVERYONE to be able to understand the few signs that are in standard use. That would require only a limited English vocabulary, Even monkeys have been taught to react correctly to the written word when given a limited choice. Once more, please help to bring more intelligence and enlightenment into our state government – I’m tired of being represented by political hacks who propogate such nonsense bills.

Too Much to Ask — Peach Pundit

April 6th, 2010
12:33 am

[...] is imploding, our state is scrapped for cash, and we’ve been bickering over things like whether or not the Korean language should be allowed for the driver’s license test, despite their country’s hefty investment down near West Point. We get it, you’re [...]

luangtom

April 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

Have any of those complaining about the English-only bill tried getting a drivers-license or other pertinent documents completed in other countries of the world? I doubt that few have. English is not offered as an official language in Hispanic-speaking countries. It is not offered as an official language in Asian countries. We have a home in Thailand and I must either read and speak Thai to complete them or hire an interpreter at my own expense to help me fill out the forms. They do not cater to my English. My wife came here and learned English to attain her green-card and ultimately citizenship. She learned English. She did not get to test in her own language. Yet, she had the will-power and the fortitude to do so and learn English to complete the necessary forms and courses. This is not anti-immigration. It is common-sense. Why should resident American children be denied a job, even at fast-food restaurants, because they do not speak Spanish? Wake-up, America.

YourNameHere

April 7th, 2010
7:33 pm

“But critics of the bill, point to the fact that illiterate Georgians…”

Critics of the copy editor point to illiterate comma-splices.

chains

April 8th, 2010
10:23 am

I for one would like to see a fair playing field for everyone…… do I really care if Habib or Juan can speak or read english….HELL YA I do…..learn it or get off the road….some signs are not international iconic signs……like EXIT left only….HOV..not standard in any country but ours….better yet..just leave…and if your illegal get caught get deported….drive the roads in ATL…you won’t have to drive 5 minutes to run into someone that has not clue what they are doing due to the simple fact they can’t read the signs….. And I feel no sympathy, these are the same people driving down the wages in america…..GO HOME…if you don’t speak English….get out….

anne j

April 8th, 2010
11:54 am

The language for the usa is English i do not have a problem with anyone having an id card or license but they should be able to read and understand english a non speaking english person hit my son car tried to pay him not to call the police my son refused and the person left the scene of the accident he could not speak english he told my son “no understand shaking his head and hand” if you want to be in usa and work you should willing to learn english

TerriA

April 8th, 2010
1:02 pm

I am all for this bill. You want to live here, learn English. I am, however, confused about one thing – I did not think it was possible for an illegal to get a driver’s license regardless of their ability to speak English. Am I wrong? Figured they just drove as they live, illegally.

Reality Check

April 8th, 2010
1:14 pm

I passed a sign yesterday that said “Detour postponed due to possible inclement weather” then there were detours anyway. I don’t think someone with only a picotrial understanding of traffic signs would have known what to do. it is in fact a safety issue. I have been in other countries and though i understand most signage some of them are difficult to get if you don’t know the language. Why should Americans adjust to people who come here and not the other way around.

C'mon People!

April 8th, 2010
3:54 pm

You are not denying anyone anything by making the test english only. There are certain things you need to do to make yourself eligible for certain PRIVILEGES. If I moved to France would I make a racket about not being able to take the test in english? Or would I learn french? Maybe I’m old school, but if you plan on living in a country and becoming a legal resident it only makes sense to speak the official language. C’mon People!

Edie

April 28th, 2010
8:47 pm

I am so Disgussing of alll you people how you descriminated agaaing you on race
this country was build thru foreing people none from here original do not exist
be litter bit concidered language is not a sutjet it is a descriminated poart from ilittered people
if you ask where is there nose no answer?
please is more important issues to take care in this country
the economy is an jeopardy so employee
LANGUAGE IS THE MORE BEATIFUL ORGAN IN OUR BRAIN
please be more respectfull for you self and STOP DESCRIMINATED ,You do not know where you from

Reidh

April 30th, 2010
7:33 pm

It is not a threat to the economy. The extra languages were introduced in say California, just for votes. They don’t have to offer any tests in other than english, they do so out of some sort of gesture to accomodate voters, preferably democratic. The foreign nationals who come here Want to be very very much, they won’t balk at learning the simple level of english to take that test to drive. Only the ACLU would complain. it is not unconstitutional.

Kalyn

August 6th, 2010
12:58 am

My family ancestors are from several other countries. Spain, Ireland, Europe, Germany etc. etc. Over the years the stories about how they came here have been passed down. The stories were that of the courage, strength and the pride they had in getting through their hardships to arrive on American soil. They did all they could. They read up on American history. Learned to read, write and speak the basics of English in their travels TO America. Then learned the rest when they arrived. They came through NY. We have the documents to this day. Our ancestors fought hard to save the money they needed to arrive here. They helped the economy by creating businesses from the ground up. They even sent money over to other family members to bring them to the U.S.. Those other family members did not spend any of that money on items overseas. They bought tickets to the U.S. They too learned what they needed to. My family wanted to become Americans. They took pride in their new homeland. They passed that pride down through the generations. I am proud of where they came from, but I am even more proud of how they got here and did what they had to to become the American’s they died as. The illegals of today do not do this. Hispanic, Asian, Indian,…the list goes on. If you are here, you must be here Legally. My family had a harder time getting here than you do. And yet, they WANTED to be American’s. Those that are here Illegal? Don’t wish to obviously or else they would learn enough to be able to at least get by. They would get a legal job. They would pay their taxes like a American. They would not send their money home to families that live only on that paycheck. If you are in danger in your country, you can find ways to be here Legally. I’m sorry if you haven’t been able to save up enough money yet, but, come on. My family did it, others have done it, you can do it. Don’t come here to abuse the system that was made for the CITIZENS of our country. Don’t make use of that abuse to help your country’s system. I am moving to England shortly. I have to learn to drive on the left side. Or give up driving. I have to take a driver’s test on the Left side. But, I learn or give up my right to drive in their country. If I get a job not on a American military base, I will be paying taxes to their country. How hard is that for you to do? My high school, in Ca., was the most crowded in our state, till recently. I had, on average, 3 to 4 illegal classmates in 4 out of 6 classes. The illegals put a strain on our systems. Every one of them. Schools, businesses, social assistance. How is it wrong to ask that they be legal, and speak/read/write our language? I would like to travel while in England. You can bet that I will at least learn enough to get by on vacation while in those other countries. I don’t want to be annoying or bothersome to the individuals I meet. ACLU is complaining that demanding English Only as the Official language is abusive to immigrants. If you are an immigrant, you obviously wished to become an American. That is the thought that comes to my mind when you make the choice to come HERE. How, ACLU, is that wrong? Why are you ready to sue everyone that demands we recognize what has made this country, a country? Yes, we did the Native American’s wrong. We still do to this day. But, our country was based on immigrants that fought to be free of certain issue’s. And when we did, we created English as our recognized language. It is NOT wrong to demand that we still recognize it.

To Edie. Did you even know you were writing with all your words underlined in red? I have tried to read your post several times. I still can’t make sense of it. English as our recognized language would actually cause some issue’s at first, but after-wards, we would be better for it. Economy would be helped. Illegals from all over, would think twice about trying to get away with abusing our, too lenient, social services. They would not get away with using our Medical, Dental, Food Stamps, or Un-employment checks or coverage. It would be for those that are here legal or in the (legal) process of becoming Legal. Yes, Language is a beautiful gift from the evolved mind. But, yours isn’t working so great now is it?