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December 05, 2006

Your voice needed on "English-first" ordinance

Dear readers,

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Nashville Metro Council is expected to cast a third and final vote on the "English-First" ordinance, BL-2006-1185. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce -- which does not support illegal immigration, but does favor comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level -- is strongly opposed to this ordinance, as well as two other immigrant-related ordinances being considered by Metro Council.

The Chamber is specifically opposed to the English-First ordinance because:

The English-First ordinance (which began as English-Only) has nothing to do with someone's legal status. It does, however, project an image that says Nashville is anti-inclusive.

The English-First ordinance is insensitive to immigrant populations (regardless of legal status), and unwelcoming for visitors and businesses with large numbers of foreign-born workers that may be considering relocating or expanding their businesses in the Nashville area.

No one disputes the importance or dominance of the English language in America or in Nashville. The English-First ordinance is little more than a symbolic gesture that creates unnecessary tension and anxiety among our immigrant communities. Keep in mind, many of these individuals are here legally, either as permanent residents or on temporary work visas, and they are already working hard to understand and embrace American culture and the English language.

If you live and/or work in Davidson County, and you share the Chamber's position opposing Metro Councilman Eric Crafton's English-First ordinance, we urge you to send a quick e-mail to your Metro Council representative. Ask him/her to VOTE NO or ABSTAIN on the Crafton "English-First" proposed ordinance on its third and final reading on Tuesday, December 5.

To identify and obtain an e-mail address for your Metro Council representative, please visit http://nashville.gov/council/council_roster.htm

Posted by VisaLawyer at December 5, 2006 06:35 AM

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